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US calls for G7 joint response to prevent China’s economic bullying of other countries: Report

According to a report by the Japan-based publication, Nikkei Asia, the United States is pushing the members of the Group of Seven countries to take joint action against China if it engages in economic coercion against the group’s partners. The G7 countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States along with the European Union.

The report also said that the US government and Congress have disclosed retaliatory measures against Beijing in advance which include raising tariffs. This move is seen as Washington’s bid to discourage Beijing from economically bullying other countries. According to the report, the US has already called for action in working-level talks with G7 nations and asked for it to be on the agenda for this year’s G7 meetings. 

The details of what these actions would entail will be discussed with Japan which is also the G7 chair this year ahead of the group’s leaders’ summit scheduled for May. The US has also sought the support of Japan and European partners on the matter, said the report. 

This also comes after Congress, in February, also reportedly introduced a bipartisan bill which would grant the president the power to take multiple countermeasures against Chinese economic coercion. In line with this, along with tariffs on Beijing, Washington would also offer support to the countries affected, as per the Japan-based media outlet. 

It also said how under one of the proposals the US would decrease the duties from the affected country and boost shipments and offset the impact of Chinese bullying. The report also suggests that recently Beijing has used its economic power as leverage to steer foreign relations. 

The example given by the Japan-based media outlet was of China increasing tariffs on Australian imports such as coal, wine and barley after Canberra pushed for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. Similarly, China also imposed restrictions on imports from Lithuania from European nations to strengthen their ties with Taiwan. 

The report, citing analysts, also noted that China is breaking World Trade Organisation rules by applying such economic pressure on other countries. Therefore, the US reportedly views the joint action as more effective than a unilateral approach as many countries are heavily dependent on China, economically. 

According to the report, Washington also believes that the framework it is working on will help countries cover each other’s losses from trade in an emergency and would help reduce the toll they would suffer in the Chinese market. However, one major hurdle would be Germany and Japan’s deep economic ties with China which would pose a challenge to the US’ bid to draw up unified rules. 

Source: Wio News