Statistics show no mercy. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits continues to rise. The economy remains firmly in the grip of the second corona wave. The gross domestic product in the fourth quarter will remain more than three percentage points below the previous year’s level, predicts the industrial organization OECD. Joe Biden has promised to lead the nation out of the corona crisis. Now he has introduced the economists who are supposed to do it.
“This team will provide emergency aid to the American people in this economic crisis and help to build our economy better than before,” said the future US president. The members – all of them “accomplished and well-deserved public servants” – have already achieved groundbreaking things for their country. Now they should be there for those who have been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and take care of the structural economic inequalities in society.
Most prominent is the future Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who will be the first woman to fill this post if the Senate approves her. While this is considered certain for the former central bank governor, Neera Tanden’s personality seems controversial: The previous head of the left-wing think tank “Center for American Progress” is to head the budget and administrative authority OMB. The OMB is located at the White House and is a key authority for the allocation of coveted public funds from the federal budget.
According to experts, Biden occupies the government’s internal and external economic councils with a mixture of pragmatists and progressives. Some top jobs in the business team are still open, including the trade representative and the ministers for trade, labor and transport. Here are the nominees – followed by Biden’s team for foreign and security policy.
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Ministry of Finance
Janet Yellen’s first test as Treasury Secretary is likely to be negotiating an economic stimulus package with Congress to help the troubled economy recover. As for her future course, she is an advocate of active fiscal policy and soft monetary policy. In tax matters, she is likely to have an open ear for European concerns, for example in climate policy or towards the dominant US tech corporations. The Republican recognized her for her intellect, foresight, and independence in the 2009 financial crisis. In her first tweet, she wrote: “For recovery we need to revive the American dream – a society where everyone can realize their potential and have even more daring dreams for the children.”
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Budget and Administrative Authority (OMB)
Neera Tanden has historically not minified her criticism of the American right. Most recently, she was targeting “opportunist” Republicans, who campaigned for the urgent confirmation of ultra-conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett in the US Supreme Court shortly before the presidential election. Biden’s course of approaching moderate Republicans, however, supports them. She will need Tanden to implement election promises such as $ 2 trillion for a climate-neutral transformation of society and comprehensive reform of childcare. On Twitter, the 50-year-old politician with Indian roots was predicted to face tough headwinds in the Senate.
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National Economic Council
The appointment of Brian Deese (in the picture on the right) to the head of the National Economic Council is, so to speak, Biden’s commitment to a kind of “Green Deal” in the USA. At Blackrock, Deese leads the sustainability department and has given lectures and lectures on how the financial market can help stop climate change. His Sustainable Investing team has had investment products in their portfolio that are geared towards ecological, social and governance criteria (ESG) for years. As an advisor to Obama, Deese was involved in the negotiations of the Paris climate agreement as well as in the talks to revive the US automotive industry after the financial crisis.
Council of Economic Advisers
Cecilia Rouse will chair the White House Economic Wise Men. “Now the planning for a fairer economy begins, based on facts and evidence,” she wrote in an initial response. Rouse is a labor economist and most recently headed the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) as dean. She would be the first African American woman and the fourth woman to head the 74-year-old body of which she was an adviser under Obama. In the Corona crisis, she spoke out in favor of direct bridging aid for those in need. Jared Bernstein, Vice President Biden’s Chief Economist, and Heather Boushey will also serve on the council. Bernstein advocates strengthening the trade unions and supporting the economy through higher government spending. Boushey is located further to the left, runs a think tank that deals with inequality and advocates reforms such as sick pay and free childcare.
Biden’s philosophy that America’s strength lies in its alliances is embodied primarily by future Secretary of State Antony Blinken. No one is better prepared for this post than he, said Biden. The 58-year-old grew up in Paris, comes from a family of immigrants, and has already visited international trouble spots under Obama as a national security advisor and advised Vice President Biden. He is considered one of the closest confidants. America now needs cooperation and confidence, said Blinken. By virtue of its capabilities, it is still best suited to bring states together and solve problems of this time. For Blinken, international cooperation is also the key to overcoming the economic consequences of the corona crisis.
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Ambassador to the United Nations
At the United Nations, too, the allies can look forward to a committed return by Washington in the spirit of multilateralism. Linda Thomas-Greenfield will represent the United States at the UN in future. In 35 years in the diplomatic service, the African American has served in various overseas posts, including in Africa, and coordinated US aid to West Africa in the fight against the Ebola epidemic. She reminded that an ascent like hers was only possible in the USA – “where life can be hard and cruel, but where there is hope in battle and promise in our dreams”.
@imago images / Björn Trotsky
After the end of his tenure as Foreign Minister, John Kerry has remained a sought-after discussion partner, as he did at the side of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at this year’s Munich Security Conference. He occupies the newly created post of Special Representative for Climate Protection, a key issue in Biden, who sets up the post as a signal of his determination. Beyond the Paris Climate Agreement, Kerry also sees it as his task to help protect the climate and create millions of jobs for the middle class, as well as to contribute to cleaner oceans and healthier lives for people around the world. Kerry is a ministerial and sits on the National Security Council.
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Ministry of Homeland Security
Alejandro Mayorkas, according to Biden, has the difficult and critical task of repairing the broken immigration system in the United States. The 60-year-old native Cuban is the first Latino to take on the post of Minister of Homeland Security and is also not a blank slate. From 2013 to 2016, he was deputy to the then incumbent Jeh Johnson and responsible for the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which granted children of undocumented immigrants legal residence status. The so-called Dreamers program, which Trump did not renew. Prior to that, he was head of the Citizenship and Immigration Department (USCIS).
@imago Images / Zuma wires / Biden Twitter
National Security Advisor
The future National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan helped negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran for the US government and experienced the pitfalls of Middle East policy. At 43 years old, he is one of the youngest on the team and in this position, but, according to Biden, is getting one of the toughest jobs in the world. Sullivan advised Biden on domestic and foreign policy matters during the election campaign, including developing a strategy against the corona pandemic. Biden said at the presentation that he understood the vision that economic security is also national security. Critics miss corners and edges in Sullivan’s previous statements.
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US intelligence coordinator
Avril Haines will become the first woman in US history to coordinate the work of US intelligence. Biden praised the longtime confidante as a vehement advocate of the truth. She was already the deputy chief of the CIA foreign intelligence service, and now the 51-year-old will become the national secret service director. Both worked together for over ten years, including when Biden headed the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and Haines provided him with legal advice. She later did so on the Obama administration’s National Security Council and was Deputy National Security Advisor. It also concerned the legal framework for the controversial use of unmanned drones in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
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White House Chief of Staff
Biden’s longtime confidante Ron Klain was appointed Chief of Staff in the White House in mid-November. Not only is he a die-hard Washington insider, he also knows his way around the White House: first as Vice Biden’s chief of staff, and later during a guest appearance for Obama, when he helped coordinate the fight against the Ebola epidemic in Africa (see picture). He then joined the Hillary Clinton campaign team, then returned to business as a lobbyist before joining Biden at campaign headquarters.