US to join Paris deal, lift Muslim travel ban
On the first day of his presidency, Joe Biden will roll back some of President Donald Trump’s most controversial policies — withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement on climate crisis and restrictions on immigration from some Muslim-majority countries — his incoming chief of staff said.
Biden will sign executive orders to get the US back to the Paris pact and rescind the travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries, which will be among roughly a dozen actions the President-elect will take on his first day in the White House, incoming chief of staff Ron Klain said on Saturday in a memo to senior staff, outlining a 10-day plan of action.
“We face four overlapping and compounding crises: The Covid-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis,” Klain wrote. “All of these crises demand urgent action. In his first 10 days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world.”
The other orders that Biden is likely to sign include the launch of a “100 masking challenge” that will mandate masks on federal property and interstate travel, and extending the pause on student loan payments and actions meant to prevent evictions and foreclosures — all related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Biden will take oath as the US President on January 20 amid unprecedented security with more than 25,000 National Guard troops deployed in Washington DC in the wake of the storming of the US Capitol on January 6. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned of “armed protests” in the days leading up to the inauguration.
President Trump announced in June 2017 that the US will exit the Paris Agreement — a legally binding international treaty on climate change — saying it disadvantaged the country, blunted its competitive edge, and favoured India and China.
America’s return to the Paris Agreement was one of Biden’s key campaign promises.
So was revoking of the Muslim ban.
Just a week after his inauguration in 2017, Trump had signed an executive order temporarily banning foreign nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries — including Iran, Iraq and Yemen — from entering the US. It was struck down by the courts, but a much-diluted version remains in force.
(With agency inputs)
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