Less than two months after his inauguration as the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden's roadmap, based on three pillars – control of the coronavirus and economic recovery, reopening to the world and fight against climate change – has been confirmed when the identity of those who will be in charge of applying it is known. The first appointments of his Administration, pending confirmation by the Senate resulting from the second round in Georgia, in January – an unknown factor that adds suspense to the start of his mandate -, treasure experience in the Administration and are figures rooted in the establishment democrat. It will be up to them to return global presence and presence to the United States, through the resumption of traditional alliances and a revived leadership, in addition to healing domestic wounds: from the ravages of the pandemic to a political polarization unprecedented in decades or the fate of the dreamers, after a Republican term in which immigrants have repeatedly found themselves on the ropes.
It is about, as Biden himself has reiterated during the campaign, of turning immense challenges into opportunities, in a context of deep global, multifaceted crisis. Just one example: to lift the country out of the economic stagnation caused by the pandemic, your government will invest specifically in the clean energy sector, with the more far-reaching goal of creating ten million new jobs green within the framework of its ambitious Green New Deal. Job creation is a mainstay, and it is not for nothing that economic policy has been entrusted to an expert in the labor market, the new Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen. It will also have to face disputes inherited from Trump such as the poisoned commercial relationship with China, which has colonized bilateral diplomacy, or arbitrate the pending case of Tiktok, paradigmatic of the law that prohibits investment by foreign countries in strategic sectors, and which is the responsibility of her department.
To navigate international crises and rebuild the status quoBattered by four years of isolationism and broken commitments – not to mention Trump's flirtations with authoritarian leaders – the Democratic president will delegate to two top officials who master the keys to diplomacy: the new Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, a multilateralist confessed, and the National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, a stump under the Clinton and Obama mandates of the nuclear pact with Iran in 2015, abandoned three years later. From both, we can expect greater harshness towards China, closer proximity to Europe after the Brexit waterway and a determined commitment to diplomacy and de-escalation, without ruling out a more determined interventionism and oblivious to the doubts that stopped Obama in the face of the war Syrian civilian.
At a time when the stability of the Middle East is being altered by Israel's movements, Blinken and Sullivan advocate the hand-held policy towards Iran, with the recovery of the nuclear pact and the possibility of even easing sanctions if Tehran backs down in its uranium enrichment program. All of this, of course, if an unforeseen event in the final stretch of Trump's term does not blow up the precarious balance of forces in the region. The probable conciliatory spirit with Iran will have no equivalent in relations with Venezuela or Cuba, as Sullivan defends diplomatically forcing the eviction of Nicolás Maduro and a renewed pressure on Havana to isolate the Chavista leader. For the rest of Maduro's allies (China and Russia), a turn of the screw is also expected to alienate their interests from the needs of Caracas.
Some of Biden's appointments have not been well received by the progressive sector of his party. Three of the four representatives of the group known as The Squad, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, have asked him this week not to put his collaborator Bruce Reed at the head of the Office of the Budget, considering him a “hawk of the deficit ”and have spoken in favor of cutting Medicare, the public health plan for the elderly. Facing the hypothetical replacement in the presidency if his term does not conclude, closing party ranks is another task in which the Democrat is already working, according to The New York Times. The election of Reema Dodin, of Palestinian origin, as deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs of the White House, is a nod to the progressive wing and reflects the diversity that Biden promised to embody his team; also a greater presence of women, starting with the vice president, Kamala Harris. Meanwhile, the appointment of several Jews to prominent positions (Blinken, Yellen; Alejandro Mayorkas, new head of immigration, or Ron Klain, chief of staff) has satisfied the powerful lobby American Jew, as well as Israel, the strategic ally that now fears rapprochement with Iran.
The professionalism of the members of Biden's team is unappealable, unlike an outgoing Administration in which a daughter and son-in-law, those of Donald Trump, served as court advisers without preparation or experience for it. His expertise seems to guarantee, at least, knowledge of the facts at a critical moment, when the pandemic continues to multiply exponentially (176,000 new cases per day, this week; about 270,000 deaths), although the imminence of a vaccine and the confidence that it It has generated in the stock markets, which have registered all-time highs this week, allowing us to have some hope of recovery in the short term. Yellen's presence in the Cabinet is not at all unrelated to the signs of optimism: after knowing his appointment, the Dow Jones surpassed the psychological barrier of 30,000 points for the first time. However, the first stumbling block will be the new stimulus package to finance investment in infrastructure and the resulting job creation, which has been stuck in Congress for months.
The climate czar, John Kerry is the icing on the cake, in terms of seniority and Democratic pedigree, of the future Biden Cabinet. Former senator, former secretary of state and former presidential candidate, Kerry, a contemporary of the president, "will fight climate change full time as a special envoy for the climate, and will sit on the National Security Council," with ministerial rank, according to the team of transition. Since leaving the secretary of state, Kerry has turned to the environment through World War Zero, an international coalition demanding urgent action against the climate crisis. Biden's ecological defense, so embedded in the regeneration of the economy, arouses suspicions from important sectors, such as the oil industry and the fracking, but their reluctance seems, as in the case of the pandemic -the health dilemma versus economy-, a circle as voracious as it is vicious: preserve the environment in exchange for ruining the economy? Or is it the other way around? The answer to the enigma will be the first chapter of the blank book that is the new Democratic mandate.
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