G7 says to counter 'non-market' policies from China to ensure free trade

Photo: AP Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosts the Online G7 Summit in the Cabinet Room at Downing Street in London.

Group of Seven leaders on Friday said they would seek a collective approach to China to counter “non-market oriented” policies and practices and to ensure a fair multilateral global trade.

“With the aim of supporting a fair and mutually beneficial global economic system for all people, we will engage with others, especially G20 countries including large economies such as China,” the G7 said after a virtual leaders’ meeting.“As leaders, we will consult with each other on collective approaches to address non-market oriented policies and practices, and we will cooperate with others to address important global issues that impact all countries.”

The G7 said it would deepen cooperation on the health response to COVID-19 and explore a global health treaty.

“We will: champion open economies and societies; promote global economic resilience; harness the digital economy with data free flow with trust,” said the group whose combined economic clout is $40 trillion - a little less than half of the global economy.

The G7 said it would “cooperate on a modernised, freer and fairer rules-based multilateral trading system that reflects our values and delivers balanced growth with a reformed World Trade Organisation at its centre; and, strive to reach a consensus-based solution on international taxation by mid-2021 within the framework of the OECD.”

Leaders of a group of seven industrialized nations vowed to make the year 2021 a turning point for multilateralism, demanding a united front to deal with the coronovirus crisis and cut carbon emissions.

The virtual meeting held on Friday was the beginning of the G-7 for US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.The gathering provided an opportunity to resume reconstruction, tied under previous US President Donald Trump and his “America First” approach.

The leaders discussed working together to accelerate vaccine delivery worldwide, especially in developing countries. Pledged to contribute a combined $ 7.5 billion dollars to that effort.

On climate change, members of the G-7 plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. On Friday, the Biden administration officially re-appointed the Paris Climate Accord, which Trump withdrew from the US soon after taking office.

Suga expressed Japan’s determination to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer, and briefed the leaders on the preparations that Tokyo is teaming up with the International Olympic Committee towards organizing the Games in a safe manner.

The leaders expressed support for Japan’s resolve to hold the Games as a symbol of global unity against the virus.

The meeting marked the beginning of a shift away from the tensions of the Trump era. At the 2019 summit in Biarritz, France, the group adopted a minimal joint statement between Trump and other leaders between general communism. Last year, the coronovirus epidemic prevented anyone from the summit who could help reduce stress.

G7 leaders are slated to meet face-to-face this June in Cornwall, eastern England.

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