G7 trade route supports WTO reform and gives impetus to COP 26 | News | SDG Knowledge Center
Gathered under the trade window of the Group of 7 (G7), the G7 countries issued a joint communiqué, underscoring their commitment to free and fair trade, a rules-based multilateral trading system and modernization of international trade rules. Ministers reaffirm the “vital role” of trade to better rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to the SDGs.
Britain’s G7 Presidency in 2021 convened the G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting May 27-28, 2021. Led by the UK’s Department for International Trade, the G7 Trade Trail aims to “shape a bold global vision for recovery that allows us to build back together better – greener, more prosperous, more resilient and more just. It focuses on four priority areas: reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO); trade and health; digital commerce; and trade and climate policy.
At WTO reform, G7 countries agree on the need to unite behind a common vision to ensure that MTS is “reformed to be free and fair for all, more sustainable, resilient and responsive to the needs of the world’s citizens.” They support the Director-General of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her efforts to modernize the Organization, and welcome the cooperation across the G20 and all WTO members with a view to “tangible results” in the process. of the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12).
At trade and climate policy, the G7 countries recognize the Structured Discussions on Trade and Environmental Sustainability (TESDD) at the WTO as an opportunity to build momentum to achieve coordinated solutions to global issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss, including through the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, UK, in November. The ministers agree that countries should work collaboratively to address the risk of carbon leakage and its potential impact on countries that have adopted rigorous approaches to reducing carbon emissions.
G7 countries also commit to developing trade policy approaches that support sustainable supply chains for forest and agricultural products, including through discussions on a set of shared global principles and a common roadmap towards global sustainable supply chains to help conserve and sustainably manage forests and other ecosystems. while promoting trade and development.
At commerce and health, the G7 will prioritize discussions and support the work of the WTO to identify solutions to develop global vaccine production and distribution. G7 countries will work with industry, the COVAX Manufacturing Working Group and the ACT-A Manufacturing Working Group to increase capacity and engage in forward sourcing planning to accelerate progress of immunization programs around the world.
G7 countries support open, diverse, secure and resilient supply chains in the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and their components, as well as wide global availability, and call on WTO members to formulate solutions pragmatic, efficient and holistic to strengthen cooperation and better anticipate challenges. Ministers reaffirm that any trade measure designed to tackle COVID-19 must be targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary. In seeking to protect the most vulnerable, they say, it is important to ensure that these measures do not create unnecessary barriers to trade and are consistent with WTO rules.
In regards to digital commerce, ministers oppose digital protectionism and agree that global digital markets must be open for entrepreneurship and innovation to flourish. The G7 believes that digital trade should support employment, raise living standards and meet consumer needs, and supports a permanent ban on tariffs on electronic transmissions. G7 countries express commitment to negotiate the Joint Declaration Initiative (JSI) on e-commerce “in an open, inclusive and transparent manner”, so that the outcome “benefits workers, consumers and businesses in developing economies , as well as those from developed economies.
In addition, the statement expresses concern about policies and practices that distort the market, in particular harmful industrial subsidies, such as those that lead to severe overcapacity, a lack of transparency regarding the role of the state in the economy. and forced technology transfer. It reaffirms the commitment of the G7 countries to open markets and a global trading system “that should not be compromised by unfair trade” and calls for negotiations to develop stricter international rules on industrial subsidies and trade distorting actions by state enterprises.
Trade modernization, WTO dispute settlement, special and differential treatment (SDT), forced labor, negotiations on fisheries subsidies and women’s economic empowerment are also among the issues addressed by the G7 countries in their joint communiqué.
The members of the G7 are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the EU. Ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in June, Britain’s G7 Presidency is hosting seven ministerial sessions that cover economic, environmental, health, trade, technology, development and foreign policy issues. The inaugural meeting of the G7 trade track was held in March 2021. [G7 Trade Ministers’ Communiqué] [G7 Press Release] [UK’s G7 Presidency Website] [Chair’s Statement by the G7 Countries at the Inaugural G7 Trade Track in March 2021]