IN THE EY­ES of Eu­ro­pe­an de­ci­si­on-ma­kers, Pre­si­dent Joe Bi­den’s inau­gu­ra­ti­on rep­re­sents a re­turn to sta­bi­li­ty in the po­li­cy-ma­king en­vi­ron­ment. Pre­si­dent Bi­den of­fers a re­ne­wal of the tran­sat­lan­tic re­la­ti­ons­hip, sta­ting re­pe­a­ted­ly that he will work to strengt­hen in­ter­na­ti­o­nal ties and mul­ti­la­te­ral ins­ti­tu­ti­ons.

There are more op­por­tu­ni­ties than ever for Fin­land, Eu­ro­pe, and the Uni­ted Sta­tes to work to­get­her to sol­ve glo­bal chal­len­ges: from eco­no­mic re­co­ve­ry and cli­ma­te chan­ge to inc­re­a­sed com­mer­ci­al op­por­tu­ni­ties in the di­gi­tal, sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty, ener­gy, and he­alth­ca­re tech­no­lo­gy spa­ces. Wor­king to­get­her on de­ve­lo­ping the di­gi­tal eco­no­my, com­bat­ting China’s un­fair trade prac­ti­ces, and boos­ting trade are key to a mu­tu­al­ly suc­ces­s­ful tran­sat­lan­tic fu­tu­re.

We spoke to Timo Vuo­ri, Exe­cu­ti­ve Di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­ti­o­nal Cham­ber of Com­mer­ce in Fin­land, who no­ted warm­ly that “If in a glo­bal world, the U.S.A. and Eu­ro­pe with si­mi­lar Wes­tern va­lu­es and de­moc­ra­cies – if we can­not conc­lu­de on those glo­bal ru­les, then I may ask with whom we could ag­ree on those.” With cal­ls for coo­pe­ra­ti­on on both si­des of the At­lan­tic, the fu­tu­re of the tran­sat­lan­tic re­la­ti­ons­hip seems bright.

In the U.S., spen­ding ini­ti­a­ti­ves will be front-lo­a­ded du­ring Bi­den’s pre­si­den­cy, when both his po­li­ti­cal ca­pi­tal and pub­lic need are at their peak. Ho­we­ver, this is no or­di­na­ry first 100 days. Pre­si­dent Bi­den’s le­a­ders­hip in hand­ling the Co­vid-19 pan­de­mic, which has spi­ra­led out of cont­rol in the U.S., is key to a re­turn to eco­no­mic pros­pe­ri­ty. A swift pan­de­mic re­co­ve­ry will lead to eco­no­mic growth and the nor­ma­li­za­ti­on of bu­si­ness tra­vel, la­bor mo­bi­li­ty (and im­mig­ra­ti­on), op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­mer­ci­al growth, and in­vest­ment in new tech­no­lo­gies. This is key for Fin­nish bu­si­nes­ses en­te­ring, sel­ling to or ope­ra­ting in the U.S. mar­ket.

March 2020 en­ded 128 months of eco­no­mic ex­pan­si­on, the lon­gest in U.S. his­to­ry. In Q2 of 2020 the eco­no­my cont­rac­ted by a re­cord 31,4%. In Ap­ril, unemp­lo­y­ment sky­roc­ke­ted to 14.7 % as com­pa­nies fur­loug­hed wor­kers and re­mai­ned in doub­le di­gits un­til Au­gust 2020. It has been a dra­ma­tic pe­ri­od of eco­no­mic dec­li­ne. The U.S. eco­no­my lost 140 000 jobs in De­cem­ber and is cle­ar­ly not out of the woods. Ho­we­ver, we spoke to Cur­tis Du­bay, Se­ni­or Eco­no­mist at the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­mer­ce who no­ted that he was very op­ti­mis­tic about where the U.S. eco­no­my is he­a­ded in 2021. Sin­ce a peak job loss of 23 mil­li­on jobs, the U.S. has al­re­a­dy ad­ded back 12 mil­li­on jobs.

Cur­tis no­ted, “If we can get past the vi­rus fas­ter, we’re set up for re­al­ly ro­bust growth this ye­ar; 5-6% GDP growth. We have a por­ti­on of the eco­no­my that has re­co­ve­red, we have a huge por­ti­on that wants to get back to nor­mal, and then we have all this mo­ney that the go­vern­ment is pum­ping in­to the eco­no­my. So, I’m very op­ti­mis­tic about the se­cond half of the ye­ar, but the vi­rus is re­al­ly what will de­ter­mi­ne how things go. I’m an­ti­ci­pa­ting that we will get back to the pre-pan­de­mic size of our eco­no­my in March 2021.”

In the co­ming week, we are li­ke­ly to see anot­her re­lief pac­ka­ge and he­a­vy rol­l­backs of Trump’s po­li­cies. Wit­hin hours of ta­king of­fi­ce, Bi­den sig­ned 17 Exe­cu­ti­ve Or­ders, inc­lu­ding an ag­ree­ment to re­join the Pa­ris Cli­ma­te Ac­cord, as well as the can­cel­la­ti­on of the so-cal­led ‘Mus­lim ban.’

Pre­si­dent Bi­den is de­monst­ra­ting quick ac­ti­on on the pil­lars of his cam­paign: re­buil­ding the Ame­ri­can ma­nu­fac­tu­ring base, a rol­l­back of the dras­tic tax cuts made du­ring the Trump ad­mi­nist­ra­ti­on, buil­ding sus­tai­nab­le inf­rast­ruc­tu­re, inc­re­a­sing ra­ci­al equi­ty, and adap­ting to cli­ma­te chan­ge. He is al­re­a­dy ta­king ac­ti­ons to­wards each of those go­als. Whet­her it’s the ‘Buy Ame­ri­can’ Exe­cu­ti­ve or­der or the di­ver­si­ty in his ca­bi­net picks, Pre­si­dent Bi­den is mo­ving for­ward swift­ly to do his part in what he pro­mi­sed the Ame­ri­can pe­op­le.

At Amc­ham, we are loo­king to har­nes­sing this for­ward mo­men­tum and will put eve­ry ef­fort in­to wor­king with our part­ners and hel­ping the tran­sat­lan­tic eco­no­my do the same.

Ar­tik­ke­li on jul­kais­tu SAM Ma­ga­zi­ne 1/2021-nu­me­ros­sa hel­mi­kuus­sa 2021.

Ale­xand­ra Pas­ter­nak-Jack­son, CEO at Amc­ham Fin­land, is wor­king to make Fin­land a more open and in­ter­na­ti­o­nal place to do bu­si­ness and to help Fin­nish com­pa­nies na­vi­ga­te the US mar­ket. She has taught on the im­por­tan­ce of net­wor­king as well as held non-pro­fit bo­ard po­si­ti­ons, both in Fin­land and the US. Ale­xand­ra holds an MBA from Haa­ga He­lia Uni­ver­si­ty of Ap­p­lied Scien­ces and a BA from the El­li­ott School of In­ter­na­ti­o­nal Af­fairs at the Ge­or­ge Was­hing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty. She li­ves in Hel­sin­ki with her Te­xan hus­band and two kids.