The recent American elections determined Democrat Joe Biden’s victory and the end of the Trump presidency. This result could lead to a series of changes in both domestic and foreign policy. After the four years of Trump’s government, characterized by excessive tones and poisoned debates, the newly elected President wants to present himself as a peacemaker, a normalizer of American society. The watchword of the next 46th president of the United States will be reopened.
First of all, Biden has proposed to reopen the old allies (Europe above all). He promised to reopen the process to be part of the Treaty of Paris. He wants to reopen to immigrants. One of the new President’s main objectives is to reopen a dialogue channel and support the scientific world to fight against the pandemic. Biden is even willing to reopen a dialogue with the Republicans. He is ready to establish a real social pact with the old enemies to get the country out of the economic and health crisis.
A lot of ambitious challenges await the new President, but these could prove very difficult to realize.
The Covid-19 response and the healthcare
A president elected amid a global pandemic was almost obligated to include the fight against Covid-19 as one of its priorities.
Unlike Trump, who underestimated the extent of the virus, Biden already has in mind a plan to fight the coronavirus. The aim: eradicate the virus as quickly as possible. If Trump never wanted to listen to scientists, Biden positioned himself as the pro-science choice. He expressed his support for investment in research and public health agencies. He also promised to offer national guidelines to combat the virus. The new President is ready to provide schools, small businesses, and families to make through the pandemic.
Beyond the hot topic of the fight against Covid, the change could characterize the entire health sector. His proposals provide a substantial expansion of public health. This implies to lower the criteria for access to its two pillars, Medicare (a federal program for the elderly) and Medicaid (a State program for individuals and households under a certain income bracket). Biden firmly intends to put the “public option” at the center of the health market. He will try to launch federal insurance capable of lowering the prices of policies in a competitive market. This goal failed even Barack Obama in his healthcare reform. Therefore, it will be far from easy to reach.
Immigration and race equality
Because of the pandemic and the economic crisis, immigration and security are no longer as hot topics as during most of the Trump presidency. However, the protests following the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police brought these arguments and racial equality into the spotlight.
During the last contentious electoral campaign, Biden made explicit appeals for the support of Black voters. He pledged to unify the country and criticized his rival for stoking division. Biden also picked Kamala Harris as his running mate. This, makes her the first Black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Black and Latino voters powered Biden’s successful campaign, particularly in critical states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia.
On immigration, Biden surprised everyone in the latest television debate. He relaunched the proposal to proceed with the regularization of about 11/12 million illegal immigrants (undocumented) present today in the United States. Maybe a too ambitious and challenging project that, however, could be preparatory to a more modest but significant action. In particular, one of these could be the regularization and the definition of a path to citizenship for the so-called “Dreamers”: the hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States by their parents when they were still minors.
Biden’s presidency could represent an almost total reversal of the White House’s recent climate change approach. This has been clear since the victory speech in Willington. In fact, during this, he stated that among the most important proves to face in the coming years said that there would be “the battle to save the climate.” His program in this field is very ambitious. However, relatively easy to achieve. During his term, the new President will try to give a big push to clean-energies industries, dial down support for fossil fuels, and set new mandates for emission reductions.
Biden also will try to revive the engagement of the USA in global climate diplomacy. Firstly he will try to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which the country officially departed recently.
Another area in which the new President should bring many changes will be foreign policy.
“Get the band back together”: Biden’s first mission will be to get closer to his historical allies, first of all, Europe. After this, he will try to distance the USA from those countries governed by populist and authoritarian governments that have often winked at Trump’s politics. The interested parties have already forewarned this possible change of American politics course to a worldwide level. Many of them have not yet made the congratulations publicly to the new President. This group belongs to essential countries in the world geopolitical scenario and is governed by “uncomfortable” characters. Among them, there is the Russia of Putin, the Turkey of Erdogan, the Brazil of Bolsonaro, with whom Trump has often flirted during his presidency, but also the China of Xi Jinping, who, before it exposes publicly, waited almost two weeks.
The case of Israel,
Israel represents a separate chapter. Netanyahu, who has always supported Trump, congratulated the new President without ever mentioning his name. However, this slight discourse will not change anything in the relation between the USA and Israel. It will continue to be the foremost American ally in an area such important as the Middle East. It will be challenging for Biden to restart diplomatic relations with adverse countries right in this increasingly unstable region.
Biden’s primary objective in foreign policy will undoubtedly be to create a front of democratic countries, a “Free World League”. In this way, he would try to oppose the populist and authoritarian governments that are spreading worldwide. He has already announced that he will try to organize the “D10” during the first year of his mandate. This summit among the ten largest democracies in the world should remove importance to G7 and G20, which participate in countries such as China, Brazil, and Russia.
Will the new President be able to fulfill his promises?
These are the changes that Joe Biden could make in the next four years. Many of the plans of the new President of the United States are very ambitious. In the light of the election results, that have not given the democratic party such a large majority as hoped, it will often be difficult for Biden to implement his policies. Despite this, what matters is that, after Trump’s four-year presidency, a new chapter is opening on the other side of the Atlantic, where Biden is ready to make America open again.