G7 economic summit: United States reaffirms its commitment to Ukraine and the fight against terrorism

Finance ministers have initiated a series of meetings where they will also discuss strategies to counterbalance China's trade initiatives.

The Finance Ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) - Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Japan - met this Friday for a round of meetings and negotiations. Their goal is to provide more economic aid to Ukraine amidst its conflict with Russia, to reaffirm its commitment to the fight against terrorism in the Middle East and to align with the commercial measures taken by China.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will attend the summit in Stresa, a town in northern Italy. The group will convene through Sunday. 

Increase aid to Ukraine to defend itself from the Russian attack

Before leaving for Italy, the Treasury Department issued a statement explaining the main topics that will be discussed in the meetings. Regarding the war that continues in Eastern Europe, Yellen said that the aid granted to Kyiv "remains crucial, both to enabling Ukraine’s continued resistance and to protecting our and our partners’ and allies’ national security."

The Secretary of the Treasury assured that the United States will continue to promote new measures that neutralize Russia's war efforts and military capacity with the objectives of supporting Ukraine and preventing global stability from being compromised:

Failure to take additional action is not an option—not for Ukraine’s future and not for the stability of our own economies and the security of our peoples. The United States and our strong global coalition are currently engaged in a battle of wills with Putin. We must be resolute and united in sending a message that he cannot simply wait out our coalition.

The additional measures to which Yellen alludes may mean new sanctions against the assets owned by both Russian citizens and companies in the United States, despite Vladimir Putin's threats to do the same by seizing American assets located in Russia.

The position of the others present at the summit is not far from that of Yellen. For example, in statements As reported by the Associated Press, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire applauded the US proposal for being "consistent with international law."

Tackling Iranian financing of terrorism in the Middle East

Another issue of international relevance that Yellen brought up was the Middle East, specifically Iran and its financial capacity. She stated that they must continue exploring new economic avenues "to counter the Iranian regime’s financing of terrorist actors."

"I urge other G7 members to join us in this effort to send a strong signal to Iran and its proxies that there will be severe consequences for its role in perpetrating violence and destabilizing the region. And we call on firms and financial institutions to cease their support to Iran through the supply and transshipment of the critical components for Iran’s advanced weapons programs," Yellen added.

Reduce the effects of Chinese trade measures

Yellen also expressed her concern over China's growing influence in economic matters. For this reason, the Secretary of the Treasury urged her international counterparts to form an alliance and safeguard their economies and workers from the "unfair commercial practices" of the Chinese regime. She highlighted this initiative as "a key opportunity" to counteract China's economic strategies, which she believes undermine fair competition and economic stability in other countries. 

This week will be a key opportunity to discuss how China’s macroeconomic imbalances and industrial overcapacity can affect our economies. We’ll also discuss our responses and the approaches that we’re taking to raise these concerns directly with China. It’s critical that we and the growing numbers of countries who have identified this as a concern present a clear and united front.

This meeting is the prelude to the G7 summit, which will be held in Fasano (southern Italy) between June 13 and 15.