G7 Vows to Confront China’s ‘Unfair’ Trade Practices

G7 nations pledged on Friday to address what they described as China’s unfair business practices that are undermining their industries and workforce
G7 Vows to Confront China’s ‘Unfair’ Trade Practices

The Group of Seven (G7) nations pledged on Friday to address what they described as China’s unfair business practices that are undermining their industries and workforce. This commitment was outlined in a draft statement on the final day of their annual summit in southern Italy.

The G7 also signaled potential actions against Chinese financial institutions aiding Russia in its acquisition of weaponry for the war against Ukraine. In a historic move, Pope Francis joined the summit, marking the first time a pontiff has attended a G7 meeting. He participated in discussions on artificial intelligence and met with leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. He was also scheduled to hold talks with other leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden.

The draft statement, reviewed by Reuters, emphasized that the G7’s actions were not intended to harm China or impede its economic development but to protect their businesses from unfair practices, level the playing field, and remedy ongoing damages. Recently, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Chinese firms supplying semiconductors to Russia amid concerns over Beijing’s aggressive stance toward Taiwan and maritime disputes with the Philippines. During the summit's first day, the G7 nations agreed on a deal to provide $50 billion in loans for Ukraine, backed by interest from frozen Russian assets, signaling strong Western resolve.

President Biden held talks with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the summit's host, where they agreed to explore all options to impose further costs on Russia. The draft statement from the G7 leaders also promised sanctions against entities helping Russia circumvent oil sanctions through fraudulent transportation practices.

The draft reiterated commitments from the previous G7 meeting in Japan regarding sexual and reproductive rights but avoided directly mentioning abortion, a contentious issue between France and Italy. Italy, currently holding the G7 rotating presidency, had demanded the removal of the phrase “safe and legal abortion” from the final statement.

The G7 summit also expanded its participation to include 10 other heads of state and government, such as the Prime Minister of India and the King of Jordan, in an effort to demonstrate inclusivity and counter perceptions of being an exclusive club. Immigration, a critical issue for Meloni, was also on the agenda. She has been advocating for Europe to assist in curbing illegal flows from Africa and has launched a flagship plan to boost development in the continent to address the root causes of migration.

Many leaders, including Biden, were set to leave Italy late on Friday, having already agreed on the summit’s conclusions, which were to be approved by the end of the day. On Saturday, those remaining were expected to engage in bilateral meetings, followed by a final press conference from Meloni.

The G7’s commitments to tackling China’s trade practices and supporting Ukraine underscore its role in addressing global economic and geopolitical challenges, while the inclusion of additional global leaders highlights a broader engagement strategy.