G7 nations to take tougher line on trade with China

BERLIN: The Group of Seven have agreed to take a tougher, more coordinated stance on China when it comes to purchase, GermanyEconomy Minister said on Thursday.
After a two-day meeting with G-7 officials, the Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Robert Habeck told reporters the discussions about China were part of an effort to ensure high international trade standards and prevent Beijing from using its economic power to woo other countries.
“The innocence towards China is over,” Habeck said, referring to Germany’s stance towards China. “The moment when people say Commerce, no matter what, ‘regardless of social or humanitarian standards, … is something we should no longer allow ourselves.’
He said that Germany would work to convince European Union establish “a stronger trade policy towards China and respond like Europeans to the coercive measures China takes to protect its economy”.
“Other partner countries will do the same,” Habeck said, adding that G-7 members – including Britain, Canada, FranceItaly, Japan and USA – agree to coordinate their respective actions.
In a joint statement after the meeting at Neuhardenberg Palace, east of Berlin, the G-7 did not name China.
The statement expressed concern about “unfair practices, such as all forms of forced technology transfer, theft of intellectual property, lowering of labor and environmental standards in order to gain profit.” competitive advantage, market-distorting actions by state-owned enterprises and harmful industrial subsidies, including resulting in excess capacity”.
The group is also committed to continuing to seek reform World Trade Organization. The United States has been particularly wary of following the Geneva-based agency’s jurisdiction over trade matters.

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