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Joint Declaration Against Trade-Related Economic Coercion and Non-Market Policies and Practices

The governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America released the following Joint Declaration on 9 June 2023.

The use of trade-related economic coercion and non-market-oriented policies and practices (“non-market policies and practices”) threatens and undermines the rules-based multilateral trading system and harms relations between countries.  The purpose of this Declaration is to express our shared concern and affirm our commitment to enhance international cooperation in order to effectively deter and address trade-related economic coercion and non-market policies and practices.

  1. We express serious concern over trade-related economic coercion and non-market policies and practices that undermine the functioning of and confidence in the rules-based multilateral trading system by distorting trade, investment, and competition and harming relations between countries. Trade-related economic coercion and non-market policies and practices threaten the livelihoods of our citizens, harm our workers and businesses, and could undermine global security and stability.
  2. Non-market policies and practices of concern include: industrial policies and practices that promote excess capacity; pervasive subsidization; discriminatory and anti-competitive activities of state owned or controlled enterprises; the arbitrary or unjustifiable application of regulations; forced technology transfer; state-sponsored theft of trade secrets; government interference with or direction of commercial decision-making; and insufficient regulatory and market transparency. Non-market policies and practices have been used as tools for economic coercion.
  3. We are particularly concerned with, and oppose, trade-related economic coercion that uses, or uses the threat of, measures affecting trade and investment in an abusive, arbitrary, or pretextual manner to pressure, induce or influence a foreign government into taking, or not taking, a decision or action in order to achieve a strategic political or policy objective, or prevent or interfere with the foreign government’s exercise of its legitimate sovereign rights or choices.  This trade-related economic coercion is frequently disguised as a legitimate government regulatory or public policy measure unrelated to the strategic objective that it is intended to advance.  It may also occur indirectly through government entrustment or direction given to state-owned, state-controlled, or private enterprises.
  4. We are also seriously concerned about the use of forced labour, including state-sponsored forced labour, in global supply chains. All forms of forced labour are gross abuses of human rights, as well as economic issues, and it is a moral imperative to end these practices. We are aware of countries using these practices to confer an unfair competitive advantage, and affirm that there must be no place for such practices in the global trading system.
  5. We affirm, in light of relevant international rules and norms, that this declaration does not apply to measures that are adopted and maintained in a transparent manner, in good faith, and for the purpose of a legitimate public policy objective. These legitimate public policy measures include: health and safety regulations, environmental regulations, trade remedies, national security measures and sanctions, and measures to protect the integrity and stability of financial systems and financial institutions from abuse. 
  6. We urge all governments to refrain from the use of trade-related economic coercion and non-market policies and practices and to support free and fair trade based on open, market-oriented policies and principles that promote a level playing field and non-discriminatory treatment in international trade relations, benefit all economies, and help secure shared prosperity for all.
  7. We commit to work together, with all interested partners, to identify, prevent, deter, and address trade-related economic coercion and non-market policies and practices, including through multilateral institutions, such as the WTO.  These efforts will include, where appropriate, cooperation in WTO committees and in disputes to challenge these practices.  We also commit to the sharing of information, data and analysis concerning these policies and practices as well as exploring the development of new diplomatic and economic tools that support and reinforce the rules-based multilateral trading system in responding to these challenges. 
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