International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, will be sitting down with her counterparts across the G7 and the WTO’s Director General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to look at a reform of global trade. Truss wil be chairing the first G7 Trade Track Ministerial meeting. As the UK is currently holding the office of President of the G7, Truss will be using the meeting to push for a reform of the WTO.
The UK will encourage G7 partners to develop a set of principles for digital trade, underlining the common goals of Trade Ministers around open digital markets and the fight against protectionism.
The UK will also seek to champion the cause of values-driven free trade and work with G7 partners to challenge practices that distort markets. The group will also discuss how to make global trade greener. With the UK hosting the COP26 in November using the opportunity to discuss the impact of international shipping on the global environment will be welcome.
Truss said ‘’2021 is the year that we need to grip WTO reform: the organisation has fresh impetus under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, who has the resolve and energy to drive forward the reforms we need to global trade, and a newly-independent Britain is ready to work with democracies from across the world to ensure trade helps the world build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘’Our G7 alliance of like-minded democracies is united not just in its fundamental values, ranging from freedom and fairness to the environment and innovation. It is also united in its fierce belief that the best way forward for us all lies in trade.
‘’But people cannot believe in free trade if it is not fair. Public trust has been corroded by pernicious practices, from the use of forced labour to environmental degradation and the stealing of intellectual property.
‘’That is why the UK will strive with its G7 partners to restore trust in the global trading system by leading the charge for a better WTO which is fit for the 21st century, with a rulebook that keeps pace with modern opportunities and challenges. We can no longer be held back by outdated rules, some of which have barely moved on from 1995’’