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  • Tessa Winchester

Trump vs Biden: Where They Stand

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

The upcoming 2020 US presidential election will be contested between President Donald Trump, who was nominated by the Republican Party, and the Democratic Party candidate, former Vice-President Joe Biden.

To cut through the noise, we’ve provided a brief comparison of where they stand on the key issues.

We've tried to be as neutral as we can in this cheat sheet, but natural biases are sometimes inevitable. Let us know if you think we can do better 👍




• Pushing to reopen the economy more rapidly despite rising cases.

• Claims that a vaccine can be made readily available by end of 2020.


• More cautious about reopening US until much more testing can be achieved.

• Prioritises the safety and efficacy of a vaccine rather than a shorter timeframe.


Climate Crisis


• Plans to withdraw the US from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (a UN agreement signed by 194 countries aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions).

• His 2020 Campaign doesn’t specifically mention climate change but does list clean air and water as priorities.

• Continues to promote oil, gas and coal production


• Wishes to recommit the US to the Paris Climate Agreement.

• Announced $2 trillion spending plan to improve infrastructure, support zero-emissions vehicles, build sustainable homes and create clean-energy jobs.

• Committed to moving the US towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


Economy + International Trade


• Economic policy based primarily on tax cuts, deregulation and boosting domestic manufacturing.

• Continues to pursue an antagonistic trade strategy with China and wishes to end US reliance on China.


• Pledges to reverse some of Trump’s tax cuts by raising marginal tax rate on highest income earners.

• Supports raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour from $7.25.


Foreign Policy


• Still advocates an ‘America First’ foreign policy which supposedly prioritises US interests but has seen the country retreat from the international stage.

• Has formally announced a US exit from the World Health Organisation

• Will likely search for historic international agreements in the Middle East and with North Korea.


• Will adopt a more multilateral approach when dealing with other nations to retake global leadership.

• Will recommit the US to the World Health Organisation.

• Will attempt to resurrect the Iran Nuclear deal which Trump cast aside.




• Has used executive power and the courts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, known as ‘Obamacare’

• Signed executive orders to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, end surprise billing and introduce more affordable public options.


• Has vowed to strengthen the Affordable Care Act.

• His proposed healthcare plan would cost $750 billion over 10 years and would rely upon increasing the taxes of the wealthy.

• Opposed to a universal single-payer system. Instead, calls for Medicare-like public option that would serve as an alternative for private insurance.


Justice + Equality


• Has positioned himself as the ‘law and order’ candidate who strongly supports the police.

• In 2018, he signed into law the First Step Act, which reduced mandatory-minimum sentences and allowed some prisoners to finish their sentences early.


• Wants to eradicate the death penalty and solitary confinement.

• As a senator, Biden voted for the 1994 crime bill that some say contributed to the mass incarceration of Black Americans.

For more resources and information, take a look at our US Politics section.

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