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G20 Wraps Up With POTUS Promising New Focus on Supply Chain and Renewable Energy

G20 Wraps Up With POTUS Promising New Focus on Supply Chain and Renewable Energy

In a news conference Sunday before leaving Rome, President Joe Biden once again shared his belief that all politics is personal and that what progress at this week’s G20 Conference was achieved came from his direct interactions with other leaders.

President Biden clearly drew on his foreign policy experience while in office as Barack Obama’s Vice President during this first overseas trip, where he met with Pope Francis, mended fences with French President Emmanuel Macron, and Sunday, held individual talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore. It was this kind of personal connection that helped break the ice with these allies who were still feeling the brunt of the previous administration’s behavior towards them while seeing America’s avowed enemies flourish with Donald Trump’s help. “They know me. I know them,” President Biden said of his fellow G-20 leaders. “We get things done together.”

The G-20 ended Sunday with President Biden unveiling several new steps the U.S. is taking to strengthen and streamline supply chains to address the bottlenecks hampering the global economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. The Associated Press reports that despite devoting a combined $15 trillion to combat the fallout from COVID-19, many of the world’s largest economies are still slogging through mass shortages as ships are waiting to dock, the prices of shipping containers climb, not enough trucks exist to haul goods from ports, and virus outbreaks halt factory production. The President has signed an executive order to streamline access to critical minerals and materials. The Defense Department would be empowered to release raw materials from the National Defense Stockpile, allowing for a faster response to shortfalls in the U.S. industrial base. Separately, the State Department will also provide funding to assist Mexico and Central America in relieving supply chain disruptions and bottlenecks. This follows the recent U.S.-ASEAN summit where new funding was announced to simplify customs and clearance procedures.

This hasn’t stopped the President’s critics on the right from blaming the entire backlog on him, when it’s just one of many headaches he inherited from the Trump administration. “Supply chains are something that most of our citizens never think twice about until something goes wrong,” President Biden said. “It isn’t a problem any one of our nations can solve through unilateral actions. Coordination is the key reason for this meeting.”

The President and First Lady will head to Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26.

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