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NEWKEY, England (AP) – President Joe Biden said Sunday that the United States has re-established its presence on the global stage as he used his first overseas trip since taking office to connect with a new generation of leaders from some of the world’s most powerful nations. … and bring allies closer together in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and China’s trade and labor relations.
Concluding three days of what he called an “extremely productive and collaborative meeting” at the G7 summit of rich democracies, Biden said his participation sparked “genuine enthusiasm.”
“America is back to leading the world with countries that share our deepest values,” Biden said at a press conference before leaving Cornwall to visit Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. “I think we have made progress in restoring trust in America among our closest friends.”
The president, who is on an eight-day trip across the country from three countries, left his mark on the G-7 by pledging to share 500 million doses of coronavirus vaccine with the world and demanding that allies do the same. On Sunday, the leaders reaffirmed their intention to donate more than 1 billion doses to low-income countries next year.
He also fought to have specific language critical of China’s use of forced labor and other human rights abuses included in the leaders’ joint statement, as he worked to turn the rivalry with Beijing into the defining competition of the 21st century. Executives also supported his call for a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%.
“We must be able to deal with China in all of these areas from a position of strength and from a unified position.” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told CBS News “face to face” on Sunday. “I think what the president has been able to do over the past couple of days is to bring the countries closer together in solving some of the problems posed by China.”
Other G-7 allies contributed to creating the impression that Biden was part of the “Club” and sought to help solidify Biden’s “America is Back” mantra, including adopting his campaign slogan “Build Better” out of the pandemic.
“We are absolutely on the same page,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said of Biden.
At the summit, Biden met French Emmanuel Macron for the first time, and they acted like old friends.
Macron did not reveal the name of Donald Trump, but shot directly at the former president. Macron said he was relieved to be working with Biden with a “cooperative” American president.
“You demonstrate that leadership is a partnership,” Macron said of Biden.
Most European allies were frustrated by Trump’s grunts about global freeloaders and his commitment to America First, so Biden was tasked with convincing skeptical audiences that the last US administration was not a harbinger of a more insular country.
At the summit, Biden also met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Following the press conference, Biden planned to travel to Windsor Castle for a private audience with the Queen, becoming the 13th president to meet the 95-year-old monarch during her nearly 70-year reign.
The president was then scheduled to fly to Brussels to meet with NATO and European Union leaders ahead of a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.
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Madhani reported from Brussels.
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