Biden to visit UK and Brussels on first overseas trip as US president

Joe Biden will visit the UK and Belgium on his first overseas trip as US President in June as he tries to rejuvenate transatlantic relations after a cooler spell under the former president Donald Trump.

The White House said Biden would attend the G7 summit in Cornwall, UK, and hold bilateral meetings with other leaders, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The president will then travel to the NATO summit in Brussels, before attending a US-EU summit.

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said Biden’s trip would “strengthen” the United States’ commitment to multilateralism, as well as NATO and the principle of collective defense.

The Biden administration has made it clear that it wants to see a revitalization of the Western military alliance, which has been undermined by factors such as Trump’s attacks, criticism of Emmanuel Macron, the French president, and tensions over Turkey.

On his first official trip to Brussels in March, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sworn to revive Washington’s frayed ties to NATO allies.

In the UK, Biden will discuss public health, economic recovery and climate change, according to the White House. The EU-US summit will cover the same topics, as well as digital and trade cooperation and “mutual foreign policy concerns”.

Washington, Brussels and London are struggling to come to an agreement on a long-running trade dispute over aircraft subsidies. Last month, the three parties agreed to suspend punitive tariffs on top of each other for four months as the talks continued.

The United States has also been at odds with Europe and the United Kingdom on a digital services tax, and threatened to degenerate trade tensions by imposing tariffs on imports from countries that have tax measures in place for digital services.

More broadly, the US and the EU have agreed to work together to manage an increasingly assertive China, pledging to rekindle dialogue on common concerns such as human rights and security issues. national.

In March, the US, EU, UK and Canada all imposed punishments on China for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in a coordinated move that sparked a reprisals from Beijing.

However, a EU-China investment agreement agreed between Brussels and Beijing last December, just weeks before Biden’s inauguration, sparked discontent among the then president-elect’s team.

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