Freedom and fairness more important than ever, says WTO trade secretary

Freedom and fairness should be at the center of the global trade agenda to ensure communities here and around the world benefit from the power of free trade, the Secretary for International Trade said today.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan gave the bugle call as she prepares to lead a British delegation attending the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (MC12).

While there, she will urge united global action to show solidarity with Ukraine, demonstrate that Russia’s unlawful aggression will not undermine or weaken the rules-based international system, and push for reforms. that will reduce our economic dependence on the aggressors.

The UK will use the WTO high-level meeting to secure meaningful progress on long-standing global issues, including food security, overfishing and duty-free e-commerce, and advance international efforts to dealing with the fallout from Russia’s actions and the Covid -19 pandemic.

Ahead of the summit, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

Putin’s brutal war has unleashed havoc and disruption in a world already overwhelmed by Covid-19 and facing the ever-present threat of climate change.

The UK will continue to show leadership at this critical and fragile time, when we must uphold the values ​​that unite us. Freedom and fairness are now more important than ever if we are to use global trade to grow our economies, deliver better standards of living to communities at home and abroad, and address some of the world’s most important challenges. .

While in Geneva, the Commerce Secretary is expected to meet with her counterparts from Ukraine, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the EU and Japan, among others.

She will use the conference – the first high-level in-person meeting in five years – to push for global trade rules that truly take into account the modern economy and the conclusion of the WTO negotiations on harmful subsidies. the Peach.

She will be joined by Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the WTO, Simon Manley, at the conference – the first for the UK since becoming an independent trading nation.

Minister Jayawardena will take part in an event on Sunday to highlight the UK’s continued support for Ukraine and condemnation of Russia alongside international allies.

International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena will say:

Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion is a threat to democracy and the rules-based order – the foundation of our free, fair and open trading system. The UK will always uphold these values ​​and, together with our allies, we will protect Ukraine’s democratic right to exist.

We believe that free, fair and open trade can prevent more lives from being destroyed by the looming hunger crisis, exacerbated by Putin’s actions, and develop a more sustainable, efficient and resilient food system for the world. ‘coming.

Together, we must redouble our efforts, put aside our divisions and harness the power of free, open and fair trade to meet our challenges today.

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