Biden talks up transatlantic ties in first call with Boris Johnson

Joe Biden mentioned he wished to “strengthen the special relationship” with the UK throughout his first name as US president with Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, stressing co-operation on local weather change and well being however with no point out of commerce.

The dialog with Mr Johnson on Saturday was his third involving a overseas chief since his inauguration on Wednesday, after he spoke with Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s president, on Friday.

According to an account launched by the White House of the decision with Mr Johnson, Mr Biden “conveyed his intention to strengthen the special relationship between our countries and revitalise transatlantic ties” citing the “critical role of Nato”.

Mr Biden additionally “noted the importance of co-operation, including through multilateral organisations, on shared challenges such as combating climate change, containing Covid-19, and ensuring global health security” — a flip away from Washington’s unilateral method to the largest international issues beneath Mr Trump.

However, the White House account of the decision doesn’t point out any effort by Mr Biden to press forward with negotiations on a commerce take care of the UK, which started beneath Mr Trump however weren’t finalised earlier than the change in administration within the US and are a prime objective for the UK. Throughout his presidential marketing campaign and through the transition, Mr Biden and his aides have mentioned that any additional commerce liberalisation would take a again seat in comparison with their plans to pump trillions of {dollars} of stimulus and funding into the US economic system.

On Friday, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, mentioned she couldn’t provide “any timeline” for the commerce talks with Britain.

“What is important to the president and also our national security adviser Jake Sullivan is that everything we do must help advance working families and the American middle class,” she mentioned.

“That certainly includes any trade agreements, and that is part of their objective and how they would approach it. But . . . at this point in time we’re working to get the pandemic under control, provide economic relief to the American public,” she mentioned.

Earlier within the week, Janet Yellen, Mr Biden’s selection for treasury secretary, added: “President Biden has been clear that he will not sign any new free trade agreements before the US makes major investments in American workers and our infrastructure.”

During the decision with Mr Johnson, Mr Biden mentioned he was able to work with Mr Johnson on the G7 and United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) that are being hosted by the UK. According to the White House assertion, Mr Biden and Mr Johnson additionally mentioned their insurance policies in direction of China, Iran and Russia.

Mr Biden’s name with Mr Johnson got here after the British prime minister sought to minimize the brand new US president’s choice to take away the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office, which raised some eyebrows within the UK, in a bid to construct a relationship with him.

Mr Biden introduced in busts of Martin Luther King Jr, the civil rights icon, and Robert F Kennedy, the previous attorney-general, who had been each assassinated in 1968, as he took workplace, changing the decor chosen by Mr Trump.

“The Oval Office is the president’s private office and it is up to the president to decorate it as he wishes,” Mr Johnson’s spokesperson mentioned on Thursday.”

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