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The G7 and International Trade


The G7 trade acquis has traditionally rested on a set of key principles: the importance of free trade and investment for economic growth; the commitment to fight protectionism; and the prominence of the rules-based multilateral trading system, anchored in the WTO. With Donald Trump as president, the United States has begun to question this acquis and its key principles. In 2017, the G7 Heads of State and Government managed to reaffirm their commitment to fight protectionism and support the multilateral trading system. However, developments that followed the G7 Taormina Summit – from the 2017 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting to the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference – and unilateral trade restrictive measures taken by the Trump administration leave no room for complacency. In 2018, the G7 should serve as a platform from which to persuade the United States that unfair trade practices can be effectively tackled only through a multilateral approach.