Joe Biden will travel to the UK and Belgium in his first overseas trip as US president in June as he tries to rejuvenate transatlantic relations following a cooler period under former president Donald Trump.
The White House said Biden would attend the G7 summit in Cornwall, UK, and hold bilateral meetings with other leaders, including UK prime minister Boris Johnson. The president will then travel to the Nato summit in Brussels, before attending a US-EU summit.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said Biden’s trip would “reinforce” the US’s commitment to multilateralism, as well as Nato and the principle of collective defence.
The Biden administration has made clear it would like to see a revitalisation of the western military alliance, which had been undermined by factors including Trump’s attacks, criticism by Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, and tensions over Turkey.
During his first official trip to Brussels in March, US secretary of state Antony Blinken vowed to revive Washington’s frayed ties with Nato allies.
In the UK, Biden will discuss public health, economic recovery and climate change, according to the White House. The EU-US summit will cover the same topics, along with digital and trade co-operation and “mutual foreign policy concerns”.
Washington, Brussels and London have been struggling to reach an agreement on a long-running trade dispute over aircraft subsidies. Last month all three sides agreed to suspend punitive tariffs on each other for four months while talks continued.
The US has also been at odds with Europe and the UK over a digital services tax, and threatened to escalate trade tensions by placing tariffs on the imports of countries with digital services tax measures in place.
More broadly, the US and EU have agreed to work together on handling an increasingly assertive China, pledging to reboot dialogue over shared concerns such as human rights and national security issues.
However, an EU-China investment deal agreed between Brussels and Beijing last December, just weeks before the Biden inauguration, prompted unhappiness among the then president-elect’s team.