US Administration Information

Update for Australia on the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden

COVID-19 Actions

As one of the most pressing issues in front of this administration with over 26 million cases in the US, Biden enacted several Executive Orders regarding COVID19 protections within the very first day in office. The US’ recovery is vital to Australia’s economy.

Executive Order on Protecting Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing

Requires CDC guidelines including masks, testing and physical distancing for federal employees or on federal property. Encourages Mask wearing across America and Establishes Safer Workforce Task Force. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Organizing and Mobilizing the United States Government to Provide a Unified and Effective Response to Combat COVID-19 and to Provide United States Leadership on Global Health and Security

Establishes the position of a COVID-19 response coordinator within the executive office to organize the White House’s plan for controlling COVID19. Provides an outlet for the US to lead in Global Health and security through preparation to respond to biological threats and pandemics. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Rejoining the World Health Organization

Biden rescinded previous intention from prior administration to withdraw from WHO via a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel

Requires masks on certain forms of domestic travel, including planes, trains, ferries and intercity buses, and requires those coming to the U.S. from a foreign country to provide proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test before arrival to the extent feasible. Issue Date (21/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Improving and Expanding Access to Care and Treatments for COVID-19

Call to accelerate novel therapies and spread access across the Nation in an equitable way and Improve the capacity of the Healthcare system to combat the disease. Also seeks to improve access and affordability of treatments and calls to set distribution targets for such. Issue Date (21/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID-19 and Future High-Consequence Public Health Threats

Designates senior officials within agencies to improve data analysis and collection pertaining to the COVID19 disease and response. Issue Date (21/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on a Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain

Immediate increase of necessary supplies to be made available to all communities from federal to tribal level and all healthcare workers. Directs several government secretaries to create a plan for future resiliency in the US supply chain and reassess the foreign role within. Issue Date (21/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery

Established a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force within the Department of Health and Human Services to recommend a fair and inclusive response with anti-discrimination policies. Issue Date (21/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Establishing the COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for COVID-19 and Other Biological Threats

Established a COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board to increase test production and distribution capacity and identify priority populations or barriers of access. Issue Date (21/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety

Review of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to identify any changes to better protect workers from COVID-19. Issue Date (21/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers

Directs the Secretary for Education to assess the best policy to safely reopen schools from childcare to higher education providers across America. Consulting with Secretary for Health and Human Services a plan for safer schools and guide to establishments. Issue Date (21/01/2021).
 Read More

Manufacturing and Trade Actions

Hoping to further American grow-collapseth and retain future command on the manufacturing industry, Biden has expanded the ‘Made in America’ campaign by increasing spending for domestic-made products while simultaneously introducing more stringent requirements for the value of parts built in America. This presents worries about Australia’s exports to the US. However, as explained in AmCham’s ‘Live From America Series: US Election Review’, Joe Hockey demonstrated that Australia being a trusted supplier will continue to exempt us among other countries engaged in free trade agreements from the nationalism of the supply chain in the Biden administration. The President has also vowed to help allied countries to build up their internal supply chains after the pandemic greatly demonstrated the volatility of reliance in such matters.

Executive Order on Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America's Workers.

Increases funding to companies manufacturing in America but also implementing strict rules on applicable waivers and publications for such, allowing smaller US producers to apply for the production attempting to be sourced from overseas. The Order also draws on the previous ‘Made in America Laws’ by adding a value component on which parts can be included in the percentage requirements to claim a product is made in the US and receive funding. Issue Date (25/01/2021).
 Read More

Climate Science Actions

With the US set to emphasize Climate Science declaring it a crisis and setting hard goals for emission reduction meeting zero by 2050, some think it may be a sore spot between Australian and US relations. Michael Fullilove, the executive director of The Lowy Institute, says climate change could be a sticking point in the relationship between the Morrison government and the Biden administration. After rejoining the Paris agreement and creating the Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry said they are also going to push their friends because everyone needs to “up their game”. By passing protections and a temporary memorandum on oil and gas activity in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and revoking the Keystone Pipeline permit the US is open to rethinking the consumption of resources and hoping to work with Australia and China to accomplish the new goals. President Biden prefacing the Order by stating “Domestic action must go hand in hand with United States international leadership, aimed at significantly enhancing global action. Together, we must listen to science and meet the moment.”

Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis

Prioritizes climate considerations as an essential element of foreign policy and national security calling to determine emission reduction by 2030 and incorporate it into all aspects of government policy. Vows to rejoin several international climate groups including hosting an early Climate Summit, rejoining the Paris Agreement, (G7), (G20) and the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. Employs Special Envoy on Climate Change, placed a temporary hold on the production of oil and gas on public lands and revoked the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Issue Date (27/01/2021).
 Read More

Acceptance of Paris Climate Agreement

The US rejoins Paris Climate Agreement, a global pact for a reduction in carbon emissions. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Special Envoy on Climate Change

Newly created Executive position with authority over energy policy and climate policy within the executive branch. Lead by Former US Secretary of State John Kerry. Issue Date (27/01/2021).
 Read More

Equality Actions

As predicted by Joe Hockey in AmCham’s ‘Live From America Series: US Election Review’ The Biden-Harris administration is a step towards healing the deep historical tensions that have so prominently divided the US. With the first multiracial, and first woman, Vice-President as well as the diverse cabinet they have brought forth also came a strong line of policy and political measures. Denouncing and condemning racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination. They are set to lead the US and consequently the world in a very different tone than the previous administration. As one of the most diverse nations this era removed bans on transgender military personal, plans to combat racism and xenophobia associated with the pandemic and lower incarceration rates which have disproportionately affected minority groups. With an ode to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this administration is taking a hard stance against discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation

Federally implements protections from sexual discrimination. Calls for the head of each agency to review all existing orders and enforce that they are in line with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any other statute that prohibits sexual discrimination. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform

Retracts ban on transgender people serving in the military. Issue Date (25/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government

Addresses the unfairness in government benefits allocation, giving explicit instructions to mitigate each sector. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Reforming Our Incarceration System to Eliminate the Use of Privately Operated Criminal Detention Facilities

Lower incarceration levels by decreasing profit-based incentives and banning renewal of privately operated facilities. Issue Date (26/01/2021).
 Read More

Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States

Condemns racism and xenophobia exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and calls upon The Secretary of Health to combat such using cultural competency and language awareness. Issue Date (26/01/2021).
 Read More

Immigration Actions

President Biden’s immigration policy is centered around creating a “fair and humane immigration system”. The President has already begun undoing many of President Trump’s policies, including stopping construction on the Southern Border Wall, restoring the DACA program, stopping the separation of children from their families at the border, and ending the Travel Ban on people from six Muslim majority nations. The President has even gone so far as being critical of his own role in the Obama-Biden Administration when it came to the removal of people from America. This points to Biden showing a more compassionate approach to immigration, a stark contrast to President Trump’s “zero tolerance” approach. The President has also appointed Cuban immigrant Alejandro Mayorkas as US Homeland Security Chief, signaling a more immigrant focused and friendly policy agenda.

Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities

Revokes executive order 13768, thus returning eligibility for funding to “sanctuary jurisdictions” not complying with immigration enforcement measures. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Ensuring a Lawful and Accurate Enumeration and Apportionment Pursuant to the Decennial Census.

Requires the census to include all residents regardless of immigration status. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States

Revokes restriction of foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. Promising to provide information sharing on visa and immigration processes and resume processing immigration and visa requests. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Directs the Department of Homeland Security and Attorney General to reinforce the regulation, which defers the removal of certain undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, obeyed the law, and enlisted in the military or stayed in school. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Proclamation on the Termination Of Emergency With Respect To The Southern Border Of The United States And Redirection Of Funds Diverted To Border Wall Construction

Demands a pause on construction of border wall and plan for redirection of funds allocated. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Economic Actions

Biden intends to provide more relief to the US than the previous administration. Already he has introduced federal worker protections outlining a path to a $15 minimum wage and paused student loan repayment keeping interest rates for such zero. The low-interest rates all around are expected to stay in an attempt to combat the effects of the pandemic furthered by an order for all executive agencies to consider actions to address the economic crisis. Biden has proposed a $1.9 Trillion stimulus plan, but it is struggling to make it through Congress intact. From Australian shores, Josh Frydenbeg argues the importance of the US to join in regular talks to share notes for economic recovery.

Pausing Federal Student Loan Payments

Extends the Pause on federal student loan payments and collections and keeps the interest rate at 0%. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Economic Relief Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Directs all agencies of the US government to consider and address the economic crisis inflicted by the pandemic. Issue Date (22/01/2021).
 Read More

Healthcare Actions

President Biden’s healthcare policies aim to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act (More colloquially known as Obamacare) that was signed into law during the Obama-Biden administration. The President has spoken of his desire to revive the ACA following President Trump’s attacks and attempts to end the program. The President has already signed executive orders to this effect: Firstly, ordering the reopening of enrollments in the Health Insurance Marketplace. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services will reopen enrollments from February 15 to May 15, providing Americans with the ability to gain cover during the pandemic. Secondly, the President has ordered all federal agencies to review policies that undermine the Health Insurance Marketplace and ACA as a whole. Thirdly, the President has signed an order directed at protecting women’s health and reproductive rights in America and abroad. In summary, while Biden is not expected to introduce any major healthcare policy of his own, he is expected to build on the ACA and continue a science-based approach to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. An approach that makes up a policy agenda of its own.

Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act

Affords extra time for registration during the pandemic to enroll in Medicaid to help limit the burden of the pandemic on American citizens who are currently uninsured and qualify. Calls for a reassessment of health agencies and revoked the previous administrations’ attempt to limit funding to public healthcare. Issue Date (28/01/2021).
 Read More

Memorandum on Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad

Supports women's health centers and revokes limitations on federal funding for clinics that also provide abortions. Aims to promote reproductive health internationally. Issue Date (28/01/2021).
 Read More

Whitehouse Actions

Bidens White House has added several new agencies to inform him in his daily decisions. Mainly regarding ethical and scientific advisors. With executive orders increasing the impact possible and information available to the branches he plans to work closely to ensure a new type of government policy can be enacted. Following from that he added a requirement to all executive appointees’ onward sign and follow an ethics agreement to not procure personal gain from their service in their position.

Executive Order on Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Federal Regulation

Withdrew six policies instated by Trump limiting the power of regulation by government agencies. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel

Requires all executive appointee from this date to sign an "ethics pledge," banning personal gain from the position. Issue Date (20/01/2021).
 Read More

Executive Order on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

Establishes the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, to make all decision evidence based. Issue Date (27/01/2021).
 Read More