Few options for G7 trade chiefs to alleviate supply pinch

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Trade chiefs from the developed world’s economic powerhouses gathering on Friday have few options at hand for a rapid fix to the supply chain woes driving up inflation and crimping growth, a problem trade experts say arises from market forces outside their reach.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Thursday the supply chain disruptions are a “huge concern” for global trade officials, with the topic constantly coming up in discussions among the G7 democracies, World Trade Organization members and bilateral conversations.

“We’re all grappling with how we can make the system work better in the long term, but also, you know, in the short term, because these are matters that are affecting everyday people’s lives,” Tai told reporters in Brussels.

The G7 trade ministers meeting in London may call for more infrastructure improvements to speed goods to market and diversification of sources of key components such as semiconductors, including more domestic output.

But those are all long-term solutions. Market forces that created excess demand for goods may already be well on their way to correcting the problem.

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Source: Reuters