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Four Ways Biden Can Boost the Global Economy

Summary:
The US is nowhere near as economically dominant as it was even a decade ago. Yet President-elect Joe Biden can take several relatively simple steps that would have far-reaching benefits for the US economy, the American people, and the rest of the world. NEW DELHI – On January 6, when a mob of US President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the Capitol with shocking ease, the world’s already-low expectations of the United States plummeted. And yet, when it comes to the global economy, there are immediate steps President-elect Joe Biden can take to boost the world’s – and especially developing economies’ – prospects. Merkel Minus Angela Shan Yuqi/Xinhua via Getty Images

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The US is nowhere near as economically dominant as it was even a decade ago. Yet President-elect Joe Biden can take several relatively simple steps that would have far-reaching benefits for the US economy, the American people, and the rest of the world.

NEW DELHI – On January 6, when a mob of US President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the Capitol with shocking ease, the world’s already-low expectations of the United States plummeted. And yet, when it comes to the global economy, there are immediate steps President-elect Joe Biden can take to boost the world’s – and especially developing economies’ – prospects.

To be sure, the limits of US global leadership are significant. After Trump’s presidency, even America’s closest allies harbor serious doubts about its reliability and values, and about the effectiveness of its government. The Trump administration’s botched COVID-19 response, including an inept vaccine rollout, reinforced the perception of national derangement. The Capitol insurrection – which Trump incited, with the goal of disrupting Congress’s certification of Biden’s electoral victory – drove it home.

Even on the economic front, the US is nowhere near as dominant as it was a decade ago, let alone a generation ago. Add to that a razor-thin Democratic majority in the US Senate, and the Biden administration’s ability to implement economic policies that reverberate positively worldwide would seem to be limited.

It is not. Biden does not need congressional approval to implement measures that would have far-reaching benefits for Americans and the rest of the world.

The first is to drop all objections to a World Trade Organization proposal to waive temporarily certain intellectual-property obligations in response to COVID-19. The proposal – introduced by India and South Africa, and cosponsored by other developing countries – aims to remove barriers to timely access to affordable medical products related to the “prevention, containment, or treatment” of COVID-19.

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