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Statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai on the G7 Trade Ministers Meeting

October 22, 2021

LONDON - Ambassador Katherine Tai today released the following statement at the conclusion of the G7 Trade Ministers meeting, during which ministers called for eliminating forced labor in global supply chains, expressed shared values in digital trade, and agreed to step up efforts to counter market-distorting practices.  They also discussed priorities for a successful Twelfth Ministerial Conference of the WTO, and expressed their commitment to reforming the WTO and building a more viable and durable multilateral trading system.
 
“The G7 Trade Ministers have charted a path toward making trade a force for good. Our joint statement makes clear that we are united in support of a rules-based trading system with no place for forced labor.  We must now turn our commitments into action. The United States stands ready to work with allies, trade partners, multilateral institutions, and businesses as we pursue a race to the top to uphold human rights and international labor standards.
 
“We also clearly expressed our shared values and opposition to models of digital authoritarianism and digital protectionism. We are concerned with the increasing use of digital trade measures to undermine freedom of speech and expression, as well as government use of surveillance systems that run counter to our shared norms and values, including human rights and a free and open internet. Our commitments on digital trade should contribute to inclusive growth and support innovation and align with a worker-centric, human-centric trade policy, and that the gains from digital trade are equitably distributed.
 
“Lastly, the G7 committed to working closely with our allies and like-minded partners towards building truly fair international trade that enables healthy competition and confronts unfair market distorting practices. We must focus our efforts on designing tools that will effectively address this problem and consider new tools to confront effectively the non-market practices of state-enterprises.”