President Joe Biden stressed to journalists at the G7 on Sunday that the global economic recovery cannot occur until the Covid-19 pandemic is brought under control.
At a news conference on Sunday, the US president touted the G7’s commitment to donate nearly 1bn vaccines to lower-income countries around the world, including 500 million donated by his administration.
His comments came at the end of the multi-day summit featuring Mr Biden and a handful of other leaders, where the president stressed that ending the Covid-19 pandemic around the world and jump-starting an equitable and climate-focused recovery were top priorities.
The president also used his first foreign trip in office to emphasize the US’ recommitment to world affairs, which he contrasted with the stepping-back approach of the Trump administration.
“We know that we cannot achieve one without the other, that is, we know that we have to deal with the pandemic in order to be able to deal with economic recovery,” Mr Biden said on Sunday.
“America is back at the table, and fully, fully engaged,” the president continued.
The president also touted the G7’s agreement on a global minimum tax for corporations, which he said would end the “race to the bottom” of countries seeking to attract businesses with low tax rates, and pledged that the allies would put forth an equitable and “climate-friendly” alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative of global development in lower-income nations.
“I know that sounds silly, but we had a president...who basically said it’s not a problem, global warming,” Mr Biden said after one of his remarks on addressing climate change during the address.
His comments on Sunday also previewed some efforts his administration could take at home over the next several years. In one instance, addressing the global minimum tax, Mr Biden remarked that he would “move on this at home as well”, and during a Q&A session with reporters the president also indicated that his administration could move to make further donations of Covid-19 vaccines to further aid poorer countries.
The president will head to Brussels in the days to come, where he will meet with NATO leaders including several of the same leaders who were president for this weekend’s multi-day summit.