The New Face of Multilateralism under Biden

Experts discussed whether the new U.S. administration can reverse four years of Trump's "diplomatic vandalism."


  • Joaquim Levy, Director for Economic Strategy and Market Relations, Banco Safra S.A.
  • Maria Otero, Former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights
  • Arturo Sarukhan, Former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S.
  • Brian Winter, Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly; Vice President of Policy, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

"I don’t think that there’s any president of the United States that has arrived to the resolute desk with the experience, the mileage, and the engagement with Latin American and the Caribbean that Joe Biden has," said Arturo Sarukhan on an AS/COA panel. The paradox, however, is that "the region is completely disengaged," he added.

What then does this new era of multilateralism look like? The panelists shared their professional insights as to the changing dynamics of global engagement and the top issues that can be addressed through partnerships, such as inequality, which Maria Otero highlighted, and democracy, per Joaquim Levy. But is it possible to reverse the last for years of Trump's "diplomatic vandalism"? The panelists agreed that the Biden administration may encounter pushback from some countries, though many will also be eager to rebuild mechanisms of cooperation.