• International Trade Secretary will lead G7 effort to bolster global supply chain resilience after the pandemic at meeting in London today
  • G7 expected to agree ground-breaking Digital Trade Principles and a joint statement on Forced Labour
  • Anne-Marie Trevelyan to push for freer and fairer global trading system at first in-person Trade Track meeting

The International Trade Secretary will today (Friday 22 October) call on the world’s leading democracies to work together to build global resilience in critical supply chains as she welcomes the G7 Trade Ministers to London.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan will lead talks at London’s Mansion House, the first time G7 Trade ministers have gathered in person for this year’s Trade Track.

Covid-19 has sent shockwaves through global production and transport, shutting the world’s third-busiest container port in China, leaving shipping containers stranded in Africa and South America, and causing long queues of goods ships unable to dock in the US. Shipping costs have increased fivefold since the start of the year, while air cargo has seen prices rise and capacity reduce.

The Secretary of State will argue against protectionism and advocate measures such as better monitoring and cooperation to quickly identify and address bottlenecks where they arise.

In addition, the UK will bring countries together to agree the G7’s first ever set of Digital Trade Principles. UK digitally delivered trade in services was worth £326 billion in 2019, approximately one quarter of our total trade, and the Secretary of State unveiled a five-point plan for promoting digital trade last month.

However, barriers to digital trade are growing and we face threats from data flow restrictions, cyberattacks, intellectual property theft and personal data breaches. The Digital Trade Principles will guide a common approach, showing the G7:

  • believe in open, transparent and competitive digital markets, which provide opportunities for businesses to grow and innovate

  • oppose digital protectionism and authoritarianism

  • want data to flow freely across borders, with high standards of data protection and safeguards for workers, consumers and businesses

  • back digitisation of paper-based customs and trade systems to cut red tape and save time and money

  • support WTO negotiations on common digital trade rules, making it easier for businesses to trade with countries across the globe

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

Global challenges require global solutions. We have seen from the COVID-19 pandemic how fragile our global supply chains can be. The UK will work with our G7 and trade partners to build stronger, greener supply chains and a more resilient economy.

We will also send a clear message that digital trade should be open and free, with proper safeguards to protect workers, consumers and businesses, so it can raise living standards and support jobs as we build back better from the pandemic.

The G7 will hear from Lord Mark Sedwill, Chair of the Economic Resilience Panel convened under the UK’s leadership of the G7, who will give a strategy briefing on how G7 partners can best work more closely to guarantee resilience in critical supply chains.

Ahead of COP26 next month, the UK will continue to work with its G7 partners to address the risk of carbon leakage. There will also be a renewed focus on reform of the World Trade Organization with these goals in mind, ahead of its Ministerial Conference meeting next month.

The Secretary of State will also host bilateral meetings with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, as well as Valdis Dombroskis, Executive Vice President of the EU, and Germany’s Peter Altmaier, Minister of Economic Affairs and Technology.

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    UK calls on G7 to help build stronger and greener supply chains

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