Joe Biden’s challenges and upsets are piling up. Since he announced his 2024 presidential election run, the shocks and setbacks have been nonstop. Not even Pedro Sánchez’s visit has managed to relax him; for, while our prime minister indulged Biden in his issues around climate change, energy and environmental transitions, even agreeing to take in a significant number of migrants to cover our country’s supposed need for basic labor, Sánchez reiterated Spain’s request for the removal of the contaminated radioactive soil in Palomares as soon as possible, as well as our displeasure at the taxes, tariffs and bureaucratic obstacles that continue to affect exports, such as our black olives. And even though there was an agreement to “move forward as soon as possible” in these matters, there are other issues keeping the occupant of the Oval Office up at night.
On the one hand, there is his concern over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a war that, according to the military high command and intelligence agencies, will go on for a long time, affecting the gradual decline of military and financial aid. Furthermore, Biden knows that 46% of Americans do not want this support to last more than a year; even within Democratic ranks, there is a noticeable fatigue, and there are even positions that favor reaching a consensual solution with Russia. On the other hand, China is a real headache for Biden, who is seeing how the strength of the Asian powerhouse is taking root even in territories that, until recently, were close with the U.S. and continues spreading across the global South. It is no wonder that the world’s most highly industrialized countries, recently meeting in Hiroshima at the G-7 Summit, are searching for a common strategy in order to counter China’s progress, curb economic and technological reliance on Beijing, offset debts, control the rise of the yuan in the global financial architecture and limit Chinese control over strategic deposits, essential natural resources and important reserves of raw materials.
A third dilemma is emerging from criticism on the part of the Republican opposition around the debt ceiling, which Biden wishes to raise, and which his opponents will only accept if Democrats relinquish much of the spending promised in the presidential election campaign. A generalized suspension of payments due to lack of consensus would be a hard blow to take. For added despair, the White House has received with concern special counsel John Durham’s report asserting that the FBI’s investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was “seriously deficient,” including dossiers funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to halt Trump’s progress in the presidential election. Anyway, there are plenty of reasons to be happy.