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Biden Wants a Foreign Policy That Puts Middle-Class America First

It’s an idea that grew from Obama alumni’s stewing during the Trump years.

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Illustration: Patrik Mollwing for Bloomberg Businessweek

Joe Biden has followed the path of many American presidents in bringing his own foreign policy brand into office. His “foreign policy for the middle class” is less pithy than Donald Trump’s “America First.” But for a world trying to gauge the U.S.’s new leadership—and an electorate with an uneasy relationship with globalization and other disruptive economic forces—it may be just as consequential.

Biden’s promise to the world is reengagement, whether on issues from which the U.S. has been absent, such as climate change, or in multilateral institutions his predecessor sought to blow up, such as the World Health Organization. But national security adviser Jake Sullivan and other senior aides are also making it clear that doesn’t portend a return to a pre-Trump model.