The U.S. president will begin his first trip abroad since taking office on Wednesday, flying to Europe for an eight-day diplomatic push that will end with a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week.
- Diplomatic and trade trans-Atlantic relations were severely tested during the Trump presidency, after the U.S. withdrew or threw scorn on several multilateral organizations, and there were repeated tariff disputes.
- Biden will attend a summit in Cornwall, southwest England of the leaders of the G-7 — the seven richest democracies — after meeting U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who chairs the meeting, as well as European Union leaders. He will then fly on to Geneva, Switzerland to meet Putin on June 16.
- His European trip will provide “democratic alliances and institutions that shaped so much of the last century [a chance to prove] their capacity against modern-day threats and adversaries,” Biden wrote last week in the Washington Post.
- The U.S. president is expected to try to rally Europeans to his firm stance on China, with vaccine diplomacy, trade and climate also high on the agenda.
The outlook: Last week’s G-7 finance ministers’ deal on a global minimum corporate tax is already being punctured, with Congress’ support uncertain at best, and other countries already jockeying for loopholes. On this and other matters, the summit will test Western leaders’ capacity not only to clinch deals, but to implement them.