Australia is calling on G7 countries to review global trade rules to prevent powerful countries from using economic coercion.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Australian think tank Perth USAsia Center ahead of the G7 summit in Britain.
Australia, which is not part of the G7, has been invited to participate in the so-called G7 Plus talks. Morrison’s appeal has everything to do with the trade war between Australia and its largest trading partner China.
Beijing has imposed severe economic sanctions on Australian products in recent months, including tariffs on various agricultural sectors, coal, wine and tourism. Canberra believes the measures are in response to Australian steps taken to limit Beijing’s influence.
Australia has rejected Chinese investment in certain areas and publicly called for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. The country has also asked the World Trade Organization WTO to take action against Chinese tariffs on barley imports. Morrison also wants to use the G7 summit to draw attention to modernizing WTO rules.
At the summit, climate change is expected to be high on the agenda. Morrison also appears to want to resist international pressure to require Australia to become carbon neutral by 2050. Australia is one of the world’s largest producers of coal and natural gas. The country has also experienced extreme droughts, floods and forest fires in recent years that scientists say are exacerbated by climate change.