Why the G7 trade track must last beyond UK presidency

10 Jun 2021 01:39 PM


With Germany and Japan next in line for leading the G7, these two champions of global trade should continue to carry the baton of a separate trade track.

Although the UK’s G7 presidency is featuring a dedicated trade track for the first time because there are key factors which make 2021 a particularly opportune moment to develop one, this new approach must not become a one-off. Establishing the G7 trade track as a meaningful format for coordinating positions on global trade among a small group of advanced industrial economies should be a key aim for the UK’s presidency.

Germany’s upcoming G7 presidency in 2022 and Japan’s in 2023 means two major advocates of global trade are in prime position to continue the separate trade track, but currently it is not self-evident that they will.

At this week’s meeting, G7 leaders are likely to set out a broad vision for global trade in the context of the pandemic – by focusing on the role trade can play in the economic recovery and strengthening resilience – and in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency – by reaffirming their commitment to the multilateral trade system.

While joint statements at the highest political level are worthwhile, it is in the interest of the UK to make the 2021 G7 trade track as substantive as possible and for it to have specific initiatives to work on long-term so it can continue beyond 2021.

Click here to continue reading the full version of this Expert Comment on the Chatham House website.