Joe Biden will travel to the UK and Belgium in June on his first trip abroad as US President, where he seeks to revive transatlantic relations after a cooler spell under 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 British 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 journey would “reinforce” America’s commitment to multilateralism, as well as NATO and the principle of collective defense.
The Biden administration has made it clear that it would like to see a revitalization of the Western military alliance undermined by factors such as Trump’s attacks, criticisms from Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, and tensions over Turkey.
On his first official trip to Brussels in March, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged to reinvigorate Washington’s frayed ties with NATO allies.
According to the White House, Biden in the UK discusses public health, economic recovery and climate change. The EU-US Summit will cover the same topics, along with digital and trade cooperation and “mutual foreign policy”.
Washington, Brussels and London are struggling to reach an agreement on a long-running trade dispute over aircraft subsidies. Last month, all three parties agreed to suspend each other’s punitive tariffs for four months while talks continued.
The US was also at odds with Europe and the UK over a tax on digital services and threatened to escalate trade tensions by imposing tariffs on imports from countries with tax measures on digital services.
More broadly, the US and EU have agreed to work together to address an increasingly assertive China, and have pledged to restart dialogue on shared concerns such as human rights and national security issues.
In March, the US, EU, UK and Canada all imposed sanctions on China for treating Uyghur Muslims in a coordinated move that led to immediate retaliation from Beijing.
However, an investment deal between the EU and China agreed between Brussels and Beijing last December, just weeks before Biden’s inauguration, led to misfortune among the then-elected president’s team.