ICC Sec Gen calls on G20 for substantive results on trade reform in joint op-ed

  • 27 June 2019
ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO addresses participants of the ICC Centenary Summit

Writing in an opinion editorial in today’s edition of the Australian Financial Review, International Chamber of Commerce Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO says delivering substantive results on trade reform at this weekend’s G20 Osaka Leaders Summit would help defuse trade tensions and safeguard the rules-based global economic order.

Penned jointly with Adam Triggs, Research Director at the Asian Bureau of Economic Research, Editor of the Australian National University East Asia Forum and non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, the op-ed states:

“G20 countries – whether they realise it or not— have strong national interests in the multilateral system… A low-target strategy will miss a crucial opportunity – the opportunity to put the brakes on the world’s dangerous slide towards unilateralism, protectionism and conflict.”

In September 2018 ICC welcomed a statement from G20 ministers recognizing the need to step up efforts to mitigate risks and enhance confidence in international trade. But Messrs Denton and Triggs
state that politics is posing risks to the global economic order and creating a wave of anti-globalisation sentiment that threatens the pillars on which widespread prosperity and security has been built over the last 70 years and even the G20’s existence.

“Delivering substantive results at the G20 next weekend in reforming the WTO and global trading rules will defuse trade tensions that pose the risk of a second-round global economic crisis, Great Depression-style,” they write.

“The forecast negative GDP impacts of the US-China trade war are significant, but fail to grasp the long-term damage being done to the rules, confidence and predictability that businesses and households rely upon for cross-border investment, trade, finance and commerce.”

On behalf of 45 million companies in over 100 countries, ICC urges G20 leaders to deliver on trade, including efforts to roll back protectionist measures and respond to last year’s call from G20 Trade Ministers to step up dialogue and actions to mitigate risks and enhance confidence in international trade.

In line with its mission to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere, ICC is working to make trade work for people and planet.

In October 2018, Mr Denton and Roberto Azevedo Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) launched the Global Dialogue on Trade (GDoT) to facilitate open discussions between stakeholders from business, multilateral organisations and academia.

Recommendations from the first round of the Global Dialogue on Trade were recently published and will contribute to the on-going intergovernmental approach to reforming the World Trade Organization and multilateral trade.

Read the full article on the Australian Financial Review website