ST. IVES, England – World leaders gathered in southwest England for a summit of major Group of Seven economies, where wealthy countries were planning to collectively donate one billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to the poorest countries. poorer and President Biden hoped to unite the world’s democracies against authoritarian states.
Mr Biden, on his first international trip as President, met with leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom under blazing skies on a Cornwall beach.
“This is a meeting that really needs to take place,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told leaders as they gathered around a table to discuss how to recover from the pandemic. “We have to make sure that we don’t repeat some of the mistakes that we may have made,” he added.
Leaders from other major democracies – South Korea, South Africa and Australia – will later attend the summit while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates by video link due to the Covid-19 pandemic raging in his country.
The summit is one of the first major diplomatic outings for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and one of the last for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Covid-19 crisis gives the meeting an obvious focal point. Leaders can “come across as superheroes to save the world,” says Robert Yates, project director at Chatham House think tank. “This time they have a chance to do something. “
Governments see the three-day summit as an opportunity to rebuild relations between friendly states that were bruised under the Trump administration and to better cope with the growing international assertiveness of China, Russia and others. Authoritarian states. The G-7, however, represents an increasingly smaller part of the world economy: when it emerged in 1975, its members made up 70% of the world economy. Today, they only represent 40%.
“I look forward to strengthening our commitment to multilateralism and working with our allies and partners to build a more just and inclusive global economy,” Biden tweeted ahead of the meeting.
Leaders posed for a joint photo on a beach on Friday, before attending a meeting on global efforts to recover from the pandemic. They will meet in the evening with members of the British Royal Family at the Eden Project, an eco-friendly tourist attraction.
“We have to make sure that we now allow our economies to recover and I think they have the potential to rebound very strongly,” Mr Johnson said at the start of the G-7 session on exiting the pandemic. .
“We are building better together,” he added.
The prime minister then asked the media to leave so the leaders could speak, saying the event was meant to be a ‘fireside talk’ but turned into ‘a gigantic media circus’.
Over the three days, leaders will discuss environmental and climate issues, economic resilience, foreign policy and health. They will also push efforts to increase the number of Covid-19 vaccines available to poor countries.
Mr Johnson’s office said on Thursday the UK would donate 100 million excess vaccine doses to the rest of the world over the next year, as part of a larger campaign to donate ‘a billion doses to countries that have struggled to immunize their populations. Mr Biden previously announced that the United States will donate 500 million snapshots developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc.
by next June.
Mr Biden and other leaders were also expected to back the comprehensive minimum tax proposal that their finance ministers backed last week. The idea is to set a floor – at least 15%, although the United States goes higher – on corporate tax, which would limit the benefits that businesses could derive from using low jurisdictions. taxation.
The deal between richer countries that already have higher tax rates is running into hurdles as the G-7 countries try to sell it around the world. And its implementation and policing will be difficult.
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The tax deal is at the heart of Mr. Biden’s national agenda. The more Mr. Biden can get other countries to raise their tax rates, the more the United States can raise taxes on foreign profits of US-based companies without maintaining a head office in the United States. United is too disadvantageous.
Mr Biden has proposed raising corporate taxes and using the money to pay for his infrastructure plan, although it can also be used for his family spending plan as Democrats balk at other tax increases.
Ms Merkel will travel to the White House to meet with Mr Biden on July 15, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
The two leaders will discuss the global response to the pandemic, climate change, the economy and international security, Ms. Psaki said.
“Chancellor Merkel’s visit will confirm the deep bilateral ties between the United States and Germany,” said Ms Psaki.
After leaving the UK, Biden will later meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. When asked on Friday what his message to Mr Putin would be, Mr Biden replied: “I will tell you after I deliver it.” “
Biden visite l’Europe
More coverage of the President’s trip, selected by the editorial staff.
Write to Andrew Restuccia to [email protected] and Max Colchester at [email protected]
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