krauss51_PHILL MAGAKOEAFP via Getty Images_vaccine Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

Vaccines Can Mend US-EU Ties

There is no doubt about US President Joe Biden’s desire to revitalize ties with Europe, which is why his administration must help the Europeans in their moment of need. The fastest way to do this – and to strengthen the transatlantic relationship – is US-European joint production of vaccines in Europe.

STANFORD – Strange as it may sound, vaccines are now the key to reviving the transatlantic relationship. Former President Donald Trump’s “America First” administration had left ties between the United States and its European allies badly frayed. So, in his address to the Munich Secutiry Conference in February, President Joe Biden thought it best to reaffirm America’s support for Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty: an attack on one NATO member would be considered an attack on all.

That is all to the good. Yet a speech is still a speech, and some wonder what Article 5 and the Alliance is worth when Europe’s shortage of COVID-19 vaccine supplies is putting European lives and livelihoods in danger while the US is swimming in doses. The Biden administration has not even pressed for Food and Drug Administration approval of the United Kingdom’s Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, despite having an estimated 60 million doses on hand.

There is no doubt about Biden’s desire to revitalize ties with Europe, which is why his administration must address this egregious vaccine imbalance and help the Europeans in their moment of need. The fastest way to do this – and to strengthen the transatlantic relationship – is US-European joint production of vaccines in Europe. Here, the Biden team should follow the model of the highly successful deal it brokered in the US, where Merck is manufacturing millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) vaccine under license.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

or

Register for FREE to access two premium articles per month.

Register

https://prosyn.org/nTr73CT