🍿 No joint press conference by Biden and Putin next Wednesday? What is Vlad afraid of, we ask ourselves?
Let’s get into that.
- 1 G7 leaders want a vaccine that is ready within 100 days of the next pandemic – is their plan credible?
- 2 How do we feel about the Build Back Better World plan?
- 3 Does anyone get whiplash today? The leaders’ bilateral meetings were shaky – some were lovers, others were snark parties.
- 4 What are leaders not talking about that they should be talking about?
- 5 Special guest correspondents share their thoughts …
G7 leaders want a vaccine that is ready within 100 days of the next pandemic – is their plan credible?
Sue Allan, Canada Editor:
Not sure how the first day in the day 100 day mission would be decided, but it got me thinking: The WHO was made aware of a puzzling virus in late December 2019. About 100 days more lead us to this press conference on Good Friday, at which Donald Trump predicted deaths for Covid in the USA “Well below” 100,000 people. (To date, 600,000 Americans have died.) Boris Johnson fresh from intensive care. And here in Canada the Prime Minister encouraged Canadian families to Enjoy the Easter weekend on FaceTime. At the time, 500 Canadians had died; the number is now 26,000. That sounds like a word problem, but it might serve as a reminder of anything that can happen in 100 days.
Almost everything is credible if there is political will behind it. Modernas The mRNA vaccine was basically ready to go on January 13, 2020 – a year before actual deployment, so there is room for improvement in the testing and approval processes. Leaders also want a global pandemic radar to quickly identify new pandemic risks. These steps are as much or more promising than the global pandemic treaty the EU is proposing. While a contract should likely come about, it would be unenforceable in real time when it counts, so it can only ever be a guard rail. A public expectation of a 100-day vaccine: This is harder for executives to ignore.
Anita Kumar, White House Correspondent and Associate Editor:
Back in the US, Biden showed Americans that he knew how to meet deadlines when it came to Covid. There clearly appears to be some lessons to be learned about Covid. But some public health officials (and some critics) have argued that Biden achieved all of his goals only because he set the bar too low. This does not seem to be the case.
How do we feel about the Build Back Better World plan?
Esther Webber, UK Senior Correspondent:
Always so easily sick. It was Boris Johnson’s catchphrase for domestic recovery from the pandemic last year, and I “better recovered” the fatigue.
Kumar: Esther, I also have “better rebuild” tiredness! That actually is Biden’s campaign slogan and it is now used every day on signs and by his helpers. And here I thought Biden and Johnson were so different …
Karl Mathiesen, chief climate correspondent:
Say hello to climate-friendly infrastructure: the West’s response to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, which has been criticized for its support for high-carbon developments and country indebtedness. The keyword here is “better”. The partners are betting that developing countries will rather take money from them than Beijing because of so-called “values”.
Anna Issac, Commerce and Business and Correspondent:
But there has been no announcement of new money to compete with the hundreds of billions of China that China has spent worldwide. Apparently Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not ask the UK Treasury to do so “because they knew the answer would be no,” said a Treasury official.
Pagan: Similar to the vaccine donation plan, it is an essential contribution for democracies to improve their competitive position against authoritarian regimes. If that sounds brutal and transactional, then geopolitics is just that. Just like Biden says that democracies need to demonstrate that they are doing for their own citizens, democracies need to be in a world where China is investing heavily in buying access and influence To be able to tell countries around the world, “We are the team it has to be,” life is better with us and here’s the evidence. “Biden and Johnson led the charges but the others are clearly on board. However, it takes more than an explanation to catch up with China, so the money has to flow: pronto!
Jakob Hanke, trade correspondent
: The G-7’s share of the world economy is shrinking – but they are still the most advanced economies in the world and have a lot to offer the rest of the world. The best Covid vaccines are made in G-7 countries – just look at the reports where the effectiveness of China’s vaccines may only be 50 percent. Europe and America are also still the largest investors in Africa. But Beijing has aggressively pushed ahead with its Belt and Road infrastructure plan. Part of the goal of the G-7 is therefore to present a similar offer to finance large infrastructure investments in developing countries.
Does anyone get whiplash today? The leaders’ bilateral meetings were shaky – some were lovers, others were snark parties.
Allan: Observers hoping for bromance or even a bilateral relationship between Trudeau and Biden have so far been disappointed. Ralph Goodale, Canada’s high commissioner in London, told reporters on Friday that there were no plans for an official meeting as the Prime Minister and President speak regularly. “You don’t have to come to Europe for that.”
But in a Saturday morning retreat, Trudeau and Biden discussed China and the ongoing efforts to get the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, Canadians detained in China since December 2018. A spokesman for Trudeau tells POLITICO that they have been discussing plans to reopen the Canada-US border, “cautiously and gradually”.
Andy Blatchford, Canada Correspondent:
Speaking of Canada and China, a senior Canadian official tells us that Johnson invited Trudeau to lead the group’s discussion of their approach to Beijing, given Ottawa’s experience handling the sensitive Kovrig and Spavor cases.
Pagan: Who runs politics and has no whiplash these days? I think the leaders have pretty good shock absorbers – they are where they are because they know how to deal with game spirit. However, I am surprised that the British are making the Brexit fight so out of control. You cannot be a Global Britain if you only have backward-looking battles over Brexit Britain.
David Herszenhorn, chief correspondent in Brussels:
Three was a lot at the trilateral meeting between Boris Johnson and the two EU presidents. An EU official said their tense meeting was “fully” focused on implementing the Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol. David Frost, the UK minister responsible for EU relations, wore noisy Union Jack socks to the meeting – and EU officials got the news. “That was a little strange,” said a senior EU official. “As if we didn’t know he was from Great Britain. Thank you for reminding us. ”
Kumar: No snark fests with Biden (yet). But on the contrary. The leaders at least shower him publicly, even Johnson. But maybe it’s just because he’s not Trump? Just look at what Macron said after the two men met the previous Saturday: “We have to deal with this pandemic, Covid-19 … climate change. We need cooperation for all of these questions. And I think it’s great to have a US President in the club who is very cooperative. And I think you show that leadership is partnership. “
What are leaders not talking about that they should be talking about?
Mathiesen: The climate will be great tomorrow. EU leaders want their G-7 allies to join them in imposing trade barriers on climate stragglers – but Japan and the US are not so sure. Everyone knows they have to face the risk of industries fleeing to countries with weaker regulation, and the EU will push the issue – Brussels is expected to introduce a carbon limit tariff in July – despite U.S. climate protection commissioner John Kerry asking for assistance out. Japanese government spokesman Tomoyuki Yoshida said the EU’s plans to tax carbon imports were “one of the rather controversial, heated discussions between the parties concerned”.
Isaac: One of the main arbiters of the global economic system, the World Trade Organization, could fail if the G7 leaders fail to put words into action at this week’s summit, top corporations fear. This B-7 leadership group believes the WTO drinks in the “last chance saloon,” Karan Bilimoria, President of the Confederation of British Industry, told me. WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala urges reforms via video from Geneva.
Hanke: Don’t mention patent protection for vaccines! Biden and Macron are in favor of surrendering intellectual property protection so that countries like India and South Africa can copy coronavirus vaccines, but Johnson and Merkel are still strongly against it – meaning the G-7 is promoting the idea of an intellectual property surrender probably not support will be unlikely.
Weber: Help. Boris Johnson is under tremendous domestic pressure to reverse a recent overseas development budget cut, and his critics have hoped this will be repeated on the international stage. But the prime minister’s spokesman told reporters this morning that it hadn’t come up in any bilateral talks and Downing Street has to exhale a small sigh of relief. Perhaps Biden and the EU leaders decided that sausage wars (as the current post-Brexit trade deal dispute is now being called) was enough beef for a weekend.
Mathiesen: Another climate thought. The British hosts are desperately hoping for this G-7 and their COP26-UN conference in November to finally kill coal power. But after days of discussion, the leaders of the most progressive and richest nations on earth are unable to come to an agreement on how quickly to get out of coal. If they can’t, what do they expect from the rest of the world?
😂 Queen of Lols: “Are you supposed to look like you’ve had a good time?” Elizabeth II asked grim leaders when they gathered for a family photo.
✨ FLOTUS: “So, I’m Jill, nice to meet you.”
Boris Johnson: “I spoke to some of our friends here today who seem to misunderstand that Britain is one country and one territory. I think you just have to get it in your head, ”said the British P.M. unsubtle told the other leaders to do their homework before giving their opinions on Brexit.
🆘 Cyril Ramaphosa: “We need vaccines now,” said the South African President – without mentioning him refused to use most of the AstraZeneca vaccine doses South Africa received earlier in 2021.
💯 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: “It is clear that we have to decentralize the production of vaccines and other medical supplies as part of the preparation for the next pandemic,” demanded the WTO chief.
💘 Emmanuel Macron: “What you are showing is that leadership is partnership,” said President Biden.
We’ll be back tomorrow morning with a report on the shanty singing at tonight’s BBQ dinner, a preview of the final meeting of the G-7, and the inside word on President Biden’s audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. set to Sunday afternoon.