How Biden is “Restoring America’s Place in the World”

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By Sam Baghal, International News Editor

Now that President Joe Biden is in office, he is making an effort to restore the country’s foreign policy and rejoin many of the international agreements that Former President Donald J. Trump withdrew from over the last four years. 

On his first day in office, Biden made good on his promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement, signing a letter to once again pledge that the United States will follow emission-reduction regulations. It takes a month to officially reenter this international climate pact, thus, the U.S. will formally start cutting the emissions that contribute to climate change in March. 

Biden also rejoined the World Health Organization that Trump announced he would withdraw from in the midst of the pandemic. This UN agency is responsible for coordinating global health efforts and responses. 

During his campaign, President Biden was vocal about his intentions to once again join the Iran Nuclear Deal. He plans to negotiate a more long-lasting agreement in which the U.S. will lift sanctions imposed by Trump if Iran halts their recent nuclear acceleration. In order to do so, he has appointed Rob Malley, a former Middle East adviser to President Barack Obama, as the special envoy for Iran. He played a large role in negotiating the first deal and is a strong supporter of the U.S. returning to the agreement.

In terms of our relationship with Russia, President Biden shared his first phone call with Vladimir Putin last Tuesday, January 26. The leaders discussed the New Start Treaty that was negotiated under the Obama administration. This agreement reduces the number of strategic missile launchers in the nuclear arsenals of both countries. It was due to expire on February 5th of this year, however, they both agreed to a five-year extension over the call.  

While Former President Donald J. Trump has been called “Putin’s puppy” and criticized for being too lenient with Russia, President Biden has made it clear that he will take a tougher stance. During the call, he confronted Putin about several pressing issues including the SolarWind cyberattack, reports that the Kremlin placed bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and speculations about the poisoning of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

On another note, our current relationship with China remains complicated as a military coup recently assembled in Myanmar, potentially putting the Biden administration at odds with China. During his campaign, he vowed to continue challenging China and referred to them as America’s top long-term rival. Thus, considering that China is a friendly neighbor of Myanmar, Biden’s response to the coup can result in a much broader conflict. So far, Biden has condemned the takeover and said that U.S. sanction policies toward Myanmar will be reviewed and “followed by appropriate action.”

Although Biden outlined his plans for foreign policy quite clearly and publicly during his campaign, there is still a great deal of controversy as he begins to take action and fulfill his promises as president. His intentions to restore many of the international relationships and agreements that Trump opposed have received a lot of criticism for being counterproductive and not putting “America First.”

“I do not support Biden’s foreign policy,” said Senior Jake Higuera. “It will only raise the price of oil and gas at home and hurt the American workers. On top of that last time he was in office we entered the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal that President Trump got us out of. If the U.S. entered back into the agreement it would cause many problems.”

Even with this opposition, many people remain firm that President Biden is doing the right thing by making it a priority to salvage America’s relationships and past agreements like the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“Biden is clearly dedicating a lot of effort during his first 100 days toward improving foreign policy,” said Senior Emily Lewis. “From dealing with conflicts and making plans to rejoin various agreements, I feel confident that the Biden administration will help strengthen many of our international relations.”