Biden to meet with pope, push for global minimum tax at G20 in Rome

U.S. President Biden speaks about global transportation supply chain issues By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden will meet with Pope Francis on Oct. 29 before attending a two-day summit of G20 leaders in Rome where he hopes to reach agreement on a Global Minimum Tax of 15%, White House officials said on Thursday.

On the second foreign trip of his presidency, Biden will then attend the U.N. climate conference known as COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, from Nov. 1-2 and announce "key actions" on the conference’s top themes, including goals for fighting climate change and forest and land use, one White House official told Reuters.

Biden’s visit with the pope comes as some Roman Catholic bishops in the United States have sought to admonish Biden for his support of abortion rights. Biden is a Catholic who attends church regularly. His wife, Jill Biden, will also attend the meeting with Pope Francis.

"They will discuss working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis, and caring for the poor," White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement about the meeting.

Biden’s visit to Italy and Britain for meetings with major world leaders is meant to signal that the United States is re-engaging with international groups after four years of Republican former President Donald Trump’s "America First" policies.

But the trip comes amid international frustration over the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, a rift with top ally France over a submarine deal with Australia, and question marks over the U.S. ability to meet Biden’s climate goals as lawmakers within his own Democratic Party haggle over his multitrillion-dollar legislative agenda.

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