Business leaders from seven countries and the European Union convened today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the annual B7 Summit. The B7 Summit is the business complement to the G7 and provides an opportunity for the global business community to provide recommendations and proposals for the G7 agenda.
Founding member U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue led this year’s dialogue and stressed the importance of renewed U.S. engagement in the world and continued cooperation to promote economic prosperity and global stability.
“Our nations’ fates are intertwined by commercial opportunities, by security concerns, and, as we are acutely aware today, by health crises like the corona virus. All of these things impact the strength of our individual economies and the stability of our global economy,” said Donohue.“The need for multilateral engagement is more important today than perhaps ever before, and that’s why the B7 is so critical,” said Donohue.
With trade association representatives from the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the EU present at the summit, the group kicked-off discussions to determine the global business community’s recommendations and proposals leading up to the G7 in June.
“At today’s B7 Summit, we spearheaded discussions on multilateral priorities, including the vital role of the World Trade Organization, the need to level the playing field globally, the power of the private sector to address climate risks, and the importance of inclusive economic growth,” said Donohue.
Four key themes emerged from this year’s dialogue:
- Restore confidence in the need and role of the World Trade Organization, while recognizing the need for WTO reforms
- Level the global playing field so that non-subsidized companies can fairly compete with state-controlled enterprises
- Leverage the power of business and business innovation to address sustainability challenges, including climate-related risks
- Advance economic inclusion to ensure everyone has a fair chance to benefit from the growth and prosperity of our societies
The group also had the opportunity to engage directly with the Trump Administration’s lead official for the G7, Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow.
Each year, a different member country hosts the summit. This year is only the second time the U.S. has chaired the G7 since this group of B7 leaders was first convened by the U.S. Chamber in 2008.
This year’s dialogue was moderated by U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant. Lead participants from each trade association included: Thomas J. Donohue, CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Markus J. Beyrer, CEO, BusinessEurope; Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, President, Movement of the Enterprises of France; Dr. Stefan Mair, Executive Board, Federation of German Industries; Masakazu Kubota, Director General, Japan Business Federation; Ms. Marcella Panucci, Director General, General Confederation of Italian Industry; and Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General, Confederation of British Industry.