The UK’s new international trade secretary will tomorrow hit out at countries engaging in “unfair trading practices” in an apparent attack on China.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan will use her first G20 trade meeting in Sorrento, Italy to say “we will not allow British businesses who play by the rules to be damaged and undercut by market-distorting practices from other countries”.
The message from Trevelyan will mirror the sentiment of her predecesor Liz Truss who earlier this year said the UK and its allies needed to “get tough” on China when it comes to trade.
China has been widely accused of stealing intellectual property and trading with goods that have been made with forced labour or do not comply with environmental standards – charges the country denies.
The UK has this year called for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to take away China’s status as a developing country within the body, which allows it to benefit from looser rules on international trade.
Trevelyan will say: “We cannot, and will not, allow British businesses who play by the rules to be damaged and undercut by market-distorting practices from other countries. That’s why we are fighting for changes to make sure trade is free and fair for all.
“Today’s meeting is a great opportunity to rally our G20 partners and build alliances that can defend the global trading system and help bring it into the 21st century.
“By making the global system work for the UK we can provide certainty to our vital industries and support jobs up the down the country.”