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G7 ministers to consider how to strengthen global supply chains

Pic by Leon Neal

By David Hughes, PA Political Editor

Trade ministers from some of the world’s biggest economies will consider how to strengthen global supply chains in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan will call for co-operation from colleagues in the G7 group of industrialised democracies to identify and tackle bottlenecks.

A lack of lorry drivers and Brexit-related complications have caused queues at petrol stations and empty shelves in parts of the UK, while Felixstowe and other big ports around the world have suffered backlogs.

As the G7 ministers prepared to meet in London, Ms Trevelyan said: “Global challenges require global solutions.

“We have seen from the Covid-19 pandemic how fragile our global supply chains can be.

“The UK will work with our G7 and trade partners to build stronger, greener supply chains and a more resilient economy.”

The ministers will hear from Lord Sedwill, chairman of the Economic Resilience Panel convened under the UK’s leadership of the G7, who will give a briefing on how the group can work on improving resilience in critical supply chains.

The ministers are also expected to agree on the G7’s first ever set of digital trade principles.

Ms Trevelyan said the UK would send a clear signal that “digital trade should be open and free, with proper safeguards to protect workers, consumers and businesses”.

The cabinet minister will hold talks with US trade representative Katherine Tai, although British sources have played down expectations of a transatlantic trade deal since Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the White House.

She will also have meetings with European Commission trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis and Germany’s economic affairs minister Peter Altmaier.

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