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Biden in Japan for G-7 Meeting Amid US Debt Crisis.

Biden Attends G-7 Summit in Japan Amid Debt Ceiling Negotiations

U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Hiroshima on May 18 to attend the three-day G-7 summit of the world’s top economic powers. The summit will cover a wide range of issues, including the conflict in Ukraine and China’s threats against Taiwan, as well as economic security.

A Challenging Time for Biden

The G-7 summit is occurring at a challenging time for Biden, as he faces a potential crisis at home if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling to avert a default by the so-called x-date, which could be reached as early as June.

Before his departure, Biden expressed confidence that the monthslong impasse between the White House and House Republicans over raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt limit would soon be resolved.

“I’m confident that we’ll get the agreement on the budget, that America will not default. And every leader in the room understands the consequences if we fail to pay our bills,” he told reporters on May 17.

The president’s travel schedule has been shortened so he can return to Washington earlier than planned to continue negotiations with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). His side trips to Australia and Papua New Guinea have been postponed.

Bilateral Meeting with Japanese Prime Minister

Biden landed in Iwakuni, Japan, first to greet troops at a U.S. Marine Corps air station before heading to Hiroshima. He participated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Hiroshima shortly after his arrival to discuss military and economic cooperation between the two nations.

On May 19, Biden will attend the summit along with leaders from France, the UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada.

Key Topics of Discussion

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine looms large and will be a significant topic of conversation,” said White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who briefed reporters on the way to Japan about the summit’s agenda.

The leaders will discuss sanctions against Russia and how to shut down evasion networks and close loopholes in sanctions to maximize their effects in the months ahead. The United States will impose sanctions in conjunction with a G-7 statement addressing the issue of enforcement.

The leaders will have a busy agenda, according to Sullivan. Supply chains, clean energy, and artificial intelligence will be some of the key topics of discussion.

This year’s summit is expected to highlight the importance of international cooperation in addressing global challenges and promoting economic growth.



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