The Corner

Politics & Policy

Joe Biden Is Still Thinking about It

President Joe Biden listens to a question as he holds his first formal news conference in the East Room of the White House, March 25, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

In the most recent issue of The Economist, discussing the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, and the challenge of growing Chinese influence in global technology supply chains: “The plan, at present, appears to be unfinished. People close to Mr Biden’s staff say that policy on China and technology remains undecided.”

The Brookings Institution: “much is still publicly unknown about the Biden administration’s North Korea policy. Indeed, much is still probably undecided within the administration.”

It is mid May 2021. How many times in 2019 and 2020 did Joe Biden assure us that he and his team would be “ready from day one”? It is not like the issues of China’s increasing leverage in the international market of high technology or how to handle North Korea just popped up out of nowhere. These are two of the preeminent foreign-policy challenges of this era.

Biden is waiting to hear back on his commission about expanding the size of the Supreme Court. He’s still thinking about whether he will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for U.S. troops. He’s still thinking about border carbon adjustment tariffs. The Biden administration may or may not create a task force to help local prosecutors fight corruption in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Last month Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that DHS would extend the REAL ID full enforcement date from October 1 of this year to May 3, 2023.

Hey, you can’t expect a guy like Joe Biden to know what he wants to do on complicated issues like these. He’s barely had any experience with the federal government, right?

President Biden has yet to name any nominations for 351 executive branch positions. At the State Department, Biden has yet to nominate an ambassador to China, NATO, Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Holy See, India, Israel, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Kingdom, or special envoy to North Korea.

I can’t wait to see what happens when Joe Biden becomes president.

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