OVID-19, corporate taxes, Iran nuclear deal on Biden’s agenda for Day One of G-20 summit

ROME – President Joe Biden and some of the world’s most powerful leaders will open their first in-person summit in two years on Saturday with discussions on two of the world’s most pressing issues: the global economy and the coronavirus pandemic.

The leaders of the Group of 20, or G-20, are expected to formally endorse radical changes to the international tax system and adopt a global minimum tax. The changes are intended to ensure that large corporations pay their fair share and prevent them from piling up profits in lower-tax jurisdictions.

Almost 140 countries have already agreed to adopt a global minimum tax of at least 15%. But Saturday’s meeting would mark the first time the tax has been officially endorsed by G-20 leaders, who account for more than 80% of global gross domestic product and 75% of world trade.

Biden is pushing for a minimum 15% tax on corporate profits to help pay for his ambitious package of climate change proposals and social safety nets.

Global health concerns will also be on the agenda for Saturday’s session. G-20 leaders are expected to explore ways to prevent another pandemic like COVID-19, which has killed nearly 5 million people worldwide, including more than 743,000 Americans.

Additionally, Biden will meet on the sidelines with three European allies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to chart a way forward in negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

Biden’s advisers have been trying to revive a 2015 deal that limited Iran’s ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels. Then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Saturday’s meeting will give Biden an opportunity to closely coordinate with the United States’ European partners in a joint negotiating position.

Before the summit, Biden held separate meetings in Rome on Friday with Pope Francis and Macron.

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