The U.S. has always in the global spotlight, and a regime change in Washington, D.C. means a cascade of changes that will affect policy and businesses far beyond American borders. To say Joe Biden and Donald Trump are slightly different in their ways would be an understatement, and as such, the changes happening at the end of that cascade will sometimes appear quite drastic.
Trump was an international businessman for the majority of his life, and Biden was involved in foreign diplomacy efforts during his tenure in Congress and as Vice President. Business and diplomacy do, indeed, have some overlap, but generally, the global ethics of leaders in each are a bit different.
Replacing Trump’s business approach, which was certainly successful in some areas, with a diplomatic hand is only part of the changes expected, as both men also differ greatly on matters of foreign relation and economic thought processes. Here is a look at three areas expected to change quite drastically with a Biden presidency.
Tariffs and Globalization
Trump was a big advocate of tariffs to thwart what he viewed as unfair trade advantages for other countries. Ultimately, these tariffs worked, as far as Trump’s goals for them were concerned. But he also extended his America First stance to foreign diplomacy, which Biden will have to address if he wants to refocus U.S. business happenings around globalization and relationship-building.
Biden has historically been a proponent of free trade and multilateralism, but he also has claimed to be a president for all Americans, many of whom still support Trump’s tariffs. Just as he was a major player in the processes surrounding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Biden will hopefully listen to and incorporate successful ideas from the Trump camp. U.S. globalization probably won’t be quite as mainstream economy as it was in the 1990s, but will certainly be increased.
Trump was not quiet about his distaste for organizations such as the World Trade Organization, especially when defending the tariffs mentioned above, as well as the World Health Organization, which he repeatedly chastised during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given how Trump was with the WTO and WHO, there is optimism within the Biden Administration that a “that won’t happen again” approach to mending these relationships will be successful. As Kislaya Prasad, research professor in the University of Maryland’s online Master of Science in Business Analytics program, puts it, “He will attempt to repair the Atlantic alliance and will play a more constructive role in international institutions such as the World Trade Organization.”
Biden’s push for global health data is an example, as he wants to create a better way of sharing data from developed countries to help improve care in more underdeveloped countries. Hopefully, this and similar actions will make it easier for the Biden Administration to secure relationships that the Trump Administration was not concerned with maintaining.
Biden’s interest in rejoining accords such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Deal, both of which Trump chose to withdraw from, will also affect the way some countries view the U.S. “Among his proposals,” Prasad adds, “the most radical are those relating to the environment. This will start with reversing some of the Trump-era loosening of environmental restrictions, but the more ambitious goal is making U.S. energy production carbon-free by 2035 and net-zero emission by 2050. “
Ultimately, the greatest changes in the global economy under Biden will occur as relationship-building fuels the potential for any major changes.