President-elect Joe Biden has selected long-time foreign policy adviser Tony Blinken to be his secretary of state, the New York Times (NYT) reported Sunday evening.
Blinken served as a deputy secretary of state under President Barack Obama’s administration and also served in Bill Clinton’s state department, according to NYT. Biden is expected Tuesday to announce his selection of Blinken, among other cabinet members. Blinken’s primary work as secretary of state would be to return the U.S. to various international agreements President Donald Trump’s administration ended, NYT reported.
Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords, the Iran nuclear deal as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), each of which Biden has said he wants to rejoin. (RELATED: Coronavirus Pandemic ‘Could Have Been Prevented’ If Not For China’s Coronavirus Cover-Up, House GOP Report Finds)
Biden has also been less hostile toward China than Trump, and Blinken’s strategy toward the communist regime is likely to be far different from Secretary of State Mike Pomeo’s, according to NYT. The U.S. ended its membership with the WHO following revelations that it had intentionally misled the global community about the severity of the coronavirus at the request of the Chinese Communist Party.
Biden has said the U.S. should not view China as an adversary or enemy, however, instead using the term “competitor.” Biden also vowed during his campaign to impose tax penalties on companies that manufacture goods overseas and grant tax breaks to companies manufacturing on U.S. soil.
Blinken is a strong advocate for international cooperation, arguing the U.S. cannot address many of the pressing global issues alone.
“Simply put, the big problems that we face as a country and as a planet, whether it’s climate change, whether it’s a pandemic, whether it’s the spread of bad weapons. To state the obvious, none of these have unilateral solutions, even in a country as powerful as the United States can’t handle them alone,” Blinken said at a Hudson Institute panel in July.
“We have to figure out ways to cooperate more effectively taking into account the fact that there are now all sorts of groups and individuals empowered by technology and information that have greater veto authority than ever before on the decisions of traditional sources of authority and decision making, like a national government or an international organization,” he added.
Biden is also expected to name Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations, according to the Wall Street Journal.