Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Attendance at the G7 Trade Ministers’ First Meeting
On March 23, commencing at 10 p.m. (Japan time), the G7 Trade Ministers’ first meeting hosted by Dr. Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of the Federal Republic of Germany, which holds the G7 Presidency this year, was held in virtual format for approximately 2 hours. Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. HAGIUDA Koichi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended from Japan.
- During the meeting, a lively discussion was held among the G7 trade ministers regarding the G7’s possible trade measures in response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the impact on the global supply chain, and future responses, and confirmed that the G7 will continue to respond in solidarity.
- The G7 trade ministers and Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Trade Organization (WTO) discussed the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12), and concurred that, looking ahead to MC12, the G7 will continue to cooperate closely and take the lead in strengthening the rules-based free and open multilateral trading system.
- Minister Hayashi affirmed Japan’s intention to continue working closely with the international community, including the G7, and stressed the following points in particular:
- (1)Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is an extremely serious situation that shakes the foundation of the existing international order, including the multilateral trading system centered on the WTO. The G7 must coordinate closely and take united actions in order to safeguard the rules-based international order.
- (2)Japan has swiftly imposed sanctions, including on individuals, the financial sector, and export controls. Japan will further strengthen its import and export controls in light of the G7 Leaders’ Statement of March 11. With regard to revoking Russia’s WTO most-favoured-nation status, Japan is positively reviewing possible measures for implementing the revocation.
- (3)The G7 should continue to lead discussions toward strengthening responses to economic coercion and market distorting practices and toward WTO reform.
- (4)In preparation for MC12, the ministers must ensure that this conference generates concrete outcomes and is successful. The ministers should discuss feasible trade responses to the impact of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on food security and on the supply chain of the mining and manufacturing industries.
- The ministers shared the view that, amidst various challenges facing the multilateral trading system, the G7, as a group of the world’s leading market economies, should take the lead in resolving common issues, and agreed to continue to work closely in the lead-up to the next G7 Trade Ministers’ meeting in September.
Germany (Chair, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck)
Canada (Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng)
France (Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Franck Riester)
Italy (Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Manlio Di Stefano)
United Kingdom (Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan)
United States (United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai)
EU (Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis)
WTO Secretariat (Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala)