On 27 and 28 May 2021, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier attended the second virtual meeting of the G7 Ministers of Trade. This forum has been created by the United Kingdom during its 2021 G7 Presidency and serves to provide the G7 states, which take a like-minded approach to trade policy, with an opportunity to engage in discussions.
Said Economic Affairs Minister Altmaier: “Today, we met in the G7 Trade Ministers format for discussions on current affairs in trade policy. The COVID-19 pandemic has once again highlighted the importance of free trade and open markets, and the importance for us to modernise our trade rules, especially with regard to healthcare, digital trade, and the environment. The next major milestone we are preparing for in the G7, together with the broad membership of the WTO, is a successful 12th WTO Ministerial Conference.”
During their two-day session, the G7 Ministers of Trade discussed the importance of global multilateral trade and its contribution to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the focal points of the G7 debate were issues relating to fairness and an equal playing field in global trade, including subsidies for the industrial sector and forced technology transfer. The G7 Ministers of Trade agreed to continue to work closely together on these matters. Also discussed was a modernisation of the trade rules with regard to trade and health, digital trade, as well as environmental issues. There was an in-depth discussion on the reform of the World Trade Organization and on the upcoming 12th WTO Ministerial Conference. In part, this discussion was attended by WTO Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.