Who's Joe Biden going to visit first?

Who's Joe Biden going to visit first?

Now that Joe Biden is officially US president, leaders from around the world would like a word with him — but where will he make his first international trip?

After a tumultuous four years, many countries are now clamoring for a face-to-face with President Biden. That includes allies who felt abandoned by Trump's "America First" presidency, as well as adversaries with thorny issues on the agenda. We check in on who's pitching him hardest on a near-term state visit.


Canada. President Biden, it's Justin Trudeau. Look, it's no secret that there was no love lost between me and Donald Trump. He ruined a good thing that Barack and I had going on when he withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a 12-nation trade deal — while also slapping tariffs on Canadian steel. That was a low blow. Joe, come visit Ottawa. You're our largest trade partner. We can collaborate on human rights, security, trade, and join forces on clean energy initiatives. I'll also use my doe-eyed charm to encourage you to change your mind about the Keystone XL Pipeline, which aimed to expand critical oil exports for Canada until you signed an executive order Wednesday aborting the project.

UK. Joe, Boris on the line. I know I got cozy with your predecessor, but I did at least try to distance myself from Donald Trump after the recent insurrection at the US Capitol. I should get credit for that, no? Either way, let bygones be bygones. Now that Brexit is done and dusted, we really need to focus on our "special relationship." We have so much to sort out together: How to tackle China's increasingly bellicose behavior, reforming and refocusing NATO, and tackling climate change now that you've recommitted to the Paris Climate goals. And of course, we need to iron out the details of a new UK-US trade pact so that the anti-Brexit crusaders don't have another political mishap to hold over my head.

Mexico. Joe, it's Presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador here. As I recently told you, we have many challenges to tackle together — but let's not get too pally. Donald Trump was unpredictable and crass, sure, but he mostly left us alone. He didn't harangue us about human rights or rule of law, because he respects Mexico's "sovereignty." I'm not so sure about you though, Joe. That's why I recently offered Julian Assange asylum here in Mexico, and scrapped a law giving American drug agents immunity on our home soil. It was important to assert myself a little before you came into office, comprendes? We need to come together to address security issues and the immigration crisis (there's already a new migrant caravan heading towards the Rio Grande). But let's work on these issues together — from afar.

Germany. Finally, we're back together again — Angela and Joe — albeit briefly! I'm not one for hyperbole, but you really need to prioritize a visit to Berlin pronto. There's urgent work to be done to bolster transatlantic relations after four years of chaos: We need to form a unified front on trade grievances with China (I know you're not thrilled about the EU-China investment deal currently in the works, but come to the Chancellor's office, we'll talk.) European confidence in the US as a reliable partner is at historic lows, and while Emmanuel Macron, my friend in France, thinks Europe should assert itself and stop relying so much on Washington, I know our alliance matters now more than ever. Come to Berlin, Joe. Let me help you help yourself.

Iran. Joe, it's me, President Hassan Rouhani. Long time no see. We worked so well together on that nuclear deal back in 2015, before your predecessor came along and wrecked things. You and I both want to revive it somehow. Let's meet in, say, Geneva? We can try to find some common ground. If you lift those economic sanctions currently strangling the Iranian people, I'll try to get the mullahs to hit the brakes on this rapidly increasing uranium enrichment program. But we better meet quickly: we've got presidential elections in June, and my successor could be a real hardliner who won't be as willing to fraternize with Great Satan. Think about it, Joe.

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Back in August, when the Taliban took over, we asked whether anyone in the international community would recognize them. Now it looks like things are heading that way.

This week, the Kremlin hosted a summit with the Taliban that was attended by China, India and Pakistan, as well as all five Central Asian Republics.

The domestically-focused US, however, wasn't there. The US continues to maintain that the Taliban can't be trusted. But does it matter? In 2021 does a Taliban-led government even need American recognition to function and thrive?

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Taking place on October 21 and 22, the Sustainability Leaders Summit will go beyond preexisting narratives and debate priorities for governments and industries ahead of COP26. Placing the spotlight on Asia's role in the global sustainability agenda, the event will address whether Asian countries and companies can achieve shared sustainability goals, and what is needed to help get them there. The summit will be co-hosted by Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings, and Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. We will address three key questions: How can Asian countries, with the help of the private sector, achieve shared Sustainability Goals? Why does this matter? And what are the policy changes needed to bring it about?

Attendance is free and open to the public. Register to attend.

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For Kevin Rudd, former Australian PM and now CEO of the Asia Society, the science on climate change is pretty much done, so the only unresolved issues are tech and — more importantly — lack of political leadership. He can't think of a single national political leader who can fill the role, and says the only way to get political action on climate is to mobilize public opinion.

Rudd joined for the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory. Watch here and register here to watch part two Friday 10/22 at 8 am ET.

The minutiae of supply chains makes for boring dinner table talk, but it's increasingly becoming a hot topic of conversation now that packages are taking much longer to arrive in the consumer-oriented US, while prices of goods soar.

With the issue unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, right-wing media have dubbed President Biden the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, conjuring images of sad Christmas trees surrounded by distraught children whose holiday gifts are stuck somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

It hasn't been a good run for Uncle Joe in recent months. What issues are tripping him up?

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Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the NBA's latest rift with China, Brazil's Senate investigation, and COVID booster shots.

China wipes Boston Celtics from NBA broadcast after the "Free Tibet" speech from Enes Kanter. Is NBA boxing itself into a corner?

Nice mixed sports metaphor there. NBA has some challenges because they are of course the most progressive on political and social issues in the United States among sports leagues, but not when it comes to China, their most important international market. And you've seen that with LeBron James telling everyone about we need to learn better from the Communist Party on issues like Hong Kong and how Daryl Morey got hammered for taking his stance in favor of Hong Kong democracy. Well, Enes Kanter's doing the same thing and he's a second-string center. Didn't even play yesterday and still the Chinese said that they were not going to air any Boston Celtics games. Why? Because he criticized the Chinese government and had some "Free Tibet" sneakers. This is a real problem for a lot of corporations out there, but particularly publicly, the NBA. Watch for a bunch of American politicians to make it harder for the NBA going forward, saying how dare you kowtow to the Chinese when you're all about "Black Lives Matter" inside the United States. No fun.

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Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

A Trump media platform? Is this for real?

This week, President Trump announced his potential return to social media through the creation of his own digital media platform that's going to merge with an existing publicly-traded company in a deal known as a SPAC. These deals are increasingly popular for getting access to capital, and it seems like that's where President Trump is headed.

The publicly-traded company's stock was up on the news, but it's really hard to see this coming together. The Trump media company claims it wants to go up against not only Facebook and Twitter, but companies like Amazon and cloud computing and even Disney providing a safe space for conservatives to share their points of view. The fact of the matter is, conservatives do quite well on existing social media platforms when they aren't being kicked off for violating the terms of service, and other conservative social media platforms that have attempted to launch this year haven't really gone off the ground.

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Protests in Sudan: Protests are again shaking the Sudanese capital, as supporters of rival wings of the transitional government take to the streets. Back in 2019, after popular demonstrations led to the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir, a deal was struck between civilian activists and the army, in which a joint civilian-military government would run the country until fresh elections could be held in 2023. But now supporters of the military wing are calling on it to dissolve the government entirely, while supporters of the civilian wing are counter-protesting. Making matters worse, a pro-military tribal leader in Eastern Sudan has set up a blockade which is interrupting the flow of goods and food to the capital. The US, which backs the civilian wing, has sent an envoy to Khartoum as tensions rise, while Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are all vying for a piece as well.

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