G7 Trade Track Backs WTO Reform, Builds Momentum to COP 26



International Institute for Sustainable Development

Meeting at the Group of 7 (G7) Trade Track, the G7 countries issued a joint communiqué, underscoring their commitment to free and fair trade, a rules-based multilateral trading system (MTS), and the modernization of international trade rules. The ministers reaffirm the “vital role” of trade in building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and in contributing to the SDGs.

The UK’s 2021 G7 Presidency convened the G7 Trade Ministerial meeting from 27-28 May 2021. Led by the UK Department for International Trade, the G7 Trade Track seeks to “shape a bold global vision for economic recovery that sees us build back better together – greener, more prosperous, resilient, and fair.” It focuses on four priority areas: World Trade Organization (WTO) reform; trade and health; digital trade; and trade and climate policy.

On WTO reform, the G7 countries agree on the need to unite behind a shared vision to ensure the MTS is “reformed to be free and fair for all, more sustainable, resilient and responsive to the needs of global citizens.” They support WTO Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her efforts to modernize the Organization, and welcome cooperation through the G20 and the wider WTO membership towards “tangible results” at the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12).

On trade and climate policy, the G7 countries recognize the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) at the WTO as an opportunity to build momentum to achieve coordinated solutions for global problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss, including through the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, UK, in November. The ministers agree that countries should work collaboratively to address the risk of carbon leakage and its potential impact on countries that have adopted rigorous approaches to reduce carbon emissions.


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