“A strategic realignment in trade policy”

Meeting of G7 trade ministers “A strategic realignment in trade policy”

Under German’s G7 Presidency, the trade ministers of the seven leading industrial nations held talks at Schloss Neuhardenberg in Brandenburg. In addition to discussing the impact of Russia’s war of aggression, the ministers consulted on improving the stability of supply chains, reforming global trade regulations and how to handle unfair competition.

G7 trade ministers at Schloss Neuhardenberg.

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck with G7 trade ministers: the G7 is pressing for reforms in world trade.

Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa pool

The G7 trade ministers issued a final declaration at the end of the two-day conference at Schloss Neuhardenberg, in which the G7 renewed its condemnation of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which has caused a sharp rise in energy prises and some food shortages. Support for and solidarity with Ukraine remain unchanged: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck affirmed that the G7 was ready “to use the full force of all tools at the disposal of the various countries and the EU, from trade policy to foreign economic policy guarantees for private investments.” At the end of the conference, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced an international reconstruction conference for Ukraine on 25 October.

Modernising the World Trade Organization

Taking note of global crises and protectionist trade policy in some areas, the G7 pressed for reform of global trade. This includes creating a functioning system for dispute resolution through the World Trade Organization by 2024.

Global supply chains have also come under pressure recently. In view of this, the G7 trade ministers also discussed how to ensure a stable and sustainable supply of goods. Countries must put their trade relationships on a broad basis. This will help economies become more robust if supplies from one trade partner are interrupted.

“Diversifying our trade relationships is a core task, as the coronavirus pandemic, the impact of climate change and geo-economic tensions have shown the importance of diversification. For this we need courage and determination to bring about a strategic realignment in trade policy.”
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck

Fairer international competition

In some areas, industrial subsidies and the emergence of state-owned businesses are distorting competition. The representatives of the G7 partner countries also discussed this trade policy challenge. The trade ministers agreed to continue to campaign for fair competition conditions.