- by cnn
- 29 Nov 2023
President Joe Biden faces his fellow world leaders Friday in Japan under the shadow of a looming default on US debt, a scenario his advisers said risks subverting American leadership and sending the global economy into tailspin.
The risk appears particularly acute as Biden works to rally fellow Group of 7 officials behind a shared approach toward Russia and China. On the first day of the summit talks, the group is planning to unveil a new tightening of sanctions on Moscow - a response to the invasion of Ukraine that relies on the strength of the American financial system.
The dangers of failed diplomacy will be placed into sharp relief when leaders lay a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial,the epicenter of the American atomic bomb dropped here in 1945 that wiped out the city and more than 100,000 of its inhabitants while hastening the end of World War II.
How much the debt standoff arises in Biden's talks in Hiroshima remains to be seen; some European officials said they had been down similar roads before as American presidents worked to avert financial disaster only to find a solution at the last moment.
But even if it does not arise substantially in the many hours of leaders' meetings spanning the next three days, the risk of default remains the backdrop against which Biden will attempt to project strength this week in Japan.
"Debt ceiling brinkmanship that Republicans are driving in Washington, DC, undermines American leadership, undermines the trustworthiness that America can bring to not just our allies and partners but to the rest of the world," a senior administration official said as Biden began the high-stakes G7 summit.
Biden cut his trip to Asia short to return to Washington early as negotiations continue over raising the US borrowing limit ahead of June 1, the earliest date by which the country could run out of cash to pay its bills.
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