The Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, has issued a stern warning against the nations of G7 resolution to sweep protectionism in responding to the economic threat posed by China. While speaking at the London Defence Conference recently, Sunak stated the United Kingdom’s strategic approach that preferring specific and targeted measures where the economic influence of China could threaten the country’s security most.
The Prime Minister identified a “limited number of very sensitive sectors,” which include semiconductors, where the government would adopt a “particularly robust” position. Meanwhile, Sunak warned against using this as an excuse for broader protectionist measures. “This is not an excuse for a blanket descent into protectionism,” he said.
During a recent summit in Hiroshima, Japan, G7 leaders complained over the collective strategy to tackle the challenge posed by China. They resolved to maintain “constructive and stable” relations while promoting efforts to lessen dependence on Beijing for important supply chains. The leaders advocated “de-risking and diversifying” rather than decoupling or turning inwards.
While responding to the US Inflation Reduction Act, Sunak was asked about the plan of the UK government’s to bolster local manufacturing. He warned against “subsidy races,” and asserted that they only shift capacity between partners without generating real growth. Rather, Sunak revealed that he would prefer a “smart set of economic policies” and regulatory changes to aid growth in businesses and sectors.
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