Biden's challenges

There are only a few days left before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden takes office as White House chief executive, and his team must be working hard to address the major issues to be inherited from his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Obviously, the main challenge is the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the misguided policies, or lack thereof, of the outgoing administration.  Of the 91 million infected people on the planet, 24.94 %, or 22.7 million, are in the United States and 376 000 of them have died.

Even if the responsibility for this disaster falls squarely on Trump, the solution must be provided by the administration of Biden.  

In addition, there’s also the economic problems, in full recession and harshly affecting unprivileged and vulnerable families and the workers with the lowest wages.  In December alone, 140 000 jobs were lost and the unemployment rate is at 6.7 percent -- almost twice the existing rate before the pandemic began.

Biden must get a new financial aid package approved in the short term and with the maximum amount of money possible, which should be about $2,000 per person, to stem rising poverty in that nation. 

Then comes the hardest and most uncertain part, which is to begin to move the wheels of the economy out of the stagnation it is in, to create enough jobs and to restore hope to millions of people.

However, there are other items that deserve an independent treatment for it’s significance, among them the new immigration policy, if it exists, the relations with the issuing countries and the situation of those undocumented migrants living in U.S.

Concerning the international perspective, there are three specific matters that cannot be delayed. One of them is Washington's reinstatement to the Paris Agreement on climate change, which must come along with effective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The second is the reestablishment of trust-based relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.  Biden, as Barack Obama's vice president, covered all regional issues, so he knows the characteristics and expectations of these countries.

Last, but not least, is the restoration of diplomatic affairs with China, which Trump is responsible for destroying.  It is in no one's interest to maintain the trade war between the two major economies of today’s world and hopefully the new resident of the White House will handle this matter with a due common sense and accuracy.

These are just a few examples of what awaits Joe Biden, and what the world expects of him.  We'll see what happens.

Edited by Ed Newman



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