Background Press Call Previewing Day Two of the G7 Summit
MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Good evening. Thanks so much for joining tonight’s call, and apologies for the delay.
We’re going to — we’re here to preview the next day of the G7.
For your awareness, not for your reporting, on the line here we have [senior administration official].
This call is on background, attributable to a “senior administration official.” And the embargo for the call is actually 11:30 p.m. Japan Standard Time, 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on the 19th. Again, that’s 11:30 p.m. Japan Standard Time and 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, May 19th.
With that, I’ll turn it over to [senior administration official] for some thoughts at the top, and then we’ll take your questions.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Great. Thanks, [moderator].
So I thought I would do two things just to set the stage here. First, I wanted to talk a little bit about the state- — G7 statement on Ukraine that has just been released by the Japanese presidency as the first of a series of statements that will come out of this leaders’ summit, and give you a sense of what exactly — what is in that statement and what it will mean in terms of the actions that we’ll be taking in the coming days.
I think when it comes to the statement that you’ll see — that you can already see released by the Japanese presidency, it really speaks to the unity of Ukraine on — or of the G7 on these issues. I think you will see a package that not only reaffirms our condemnation of Russia’s illegal war of aggression, but also takes real concrete steps to both meet Ukraine’s needs — security needs, humanitarian needs, financial and economic needs — for as long as it takes, and then also to continue increasing the costs on Russia.
I think maybe I’ll zoom in on those costs on Russia, the elements. We’ll — you’ll see tomorrow morning, D.C. time, the U.S. Department of Treasury, alongside the Department of State and Commerce, take new actions in conjunction with the rest of the G7 to impose costs on Russia.
Those will have — it’s a quite broad package, but some of the key elements include additional steps to restrict Russian imports of U.S. and other G7 technologies and other products that could be used against Ukraine on the battlefield, and making sure that anything that is used on the battlefield is controlled so Russia can no longer use Western technologies and inputs to prosecute its war.
Second, we’ve got a very strong package of measures aimed at countering circumvention and evasion, including, in really one of the strongest packages that we’ve ever seen of unity among the G7, in imposing costs on third-country evaders who are facilitating Russia’s ability to circumvent and evade our sanctions.
Finally, the — finally, I would highlight we are also taking steps to target Russia’s future extractive capabilities. And that’s designed to go after some of the key sources of revenue that Russia has, not now, in a way that would potentially increase prices for consumers around the world and potentially increase revenues for Russia, but instead to make sure that they are unable to develop their future extractive capabilities, and which will mean that the cost of this war on Russia grow over time.
So maybe I’ll pause there on the Ukraine statement and turn to what you’ll see tomorrow.
So, tomorrow we’ll have another very packed day of G7 and meetings. I think that — sorry about that. Sorry for the pause. And I’m going to focus on a few things in terms of the highlights that you’ll see tomorrow.
So, first, you’ll continue to see unity across the G7. And I think that is going to be a real theme of this G7 Summit. I think one of the things that I’ve observed in doing these negotiations is that the G7 is just more united than ever across a really broad range of issues.
So, in terms of the things you’ll see tomorrow, you’ll particularly — we’ll be releasing in G7 statements when it comes to economic security, we will be releasing a communiqué that highlights a common approach on China, and we’re also releasing a G7 statement on the clean energy transition.
On China, G7 leaders are going to make clear that we are all united around a set of principles that underpin all of our approaches to China. And these are grounded in common and shared values.
As we’ve emphasized already as the United States, all of the G7 are looking to de-risk, not decouple, from China. And you’ll also see that we’re all aligned in principles that will guide each of the relationships in other ways — so when it comes to human rights, when it comes to thinking about how do we deal with some of the challenges about China’s non-market policies and practices.
You can also expect to see us in the economic security space outline a common set of tools that we’ll use to address common concerns, both when it comes to China but also for other countries around the world, in terms — including economic coercion.
We’ll also be talking about — one of the things we’ve discussed a lot is how do we address the evolving nature of technology and its impact potentially on military advancement and what should the G7 together — do together about it.
You’ll also see unity in how we’re rallying around the need for bold action to accelerate the clean energy transition, which has been a major priority for the President. And we’re taking this on — (audio drops) — (inaudible) the blueprint for broader G7 action.
And you — I think in this area, you’ve already seen a number of other countries take steps in this direction, like the EU and Canada. You’ll also see G7 countries deepening their commitments on that way forward. And you’ll — more broadly and, I think, very importantly, should see that the G7 are united around this approach and that this is something that we will be doing together and in cooperation as we move forward.
Second, tomorrow we’ll also reaffirm our commitment to scale up investments in low- and middle-income countries through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, or PGII, which is a signature G7 initiative.
Tomorrow, we’ll be co-hosting a PGII side event with Japan and the EU.
G7 — for those of you who are not familiar, the G7 leaders launched PGII at last year’s summit, and we’ve been delivering game-changing investments since then.
Looking ahead, the United States will be working with our partners to build out transformative economic corridors through PGII, which you’ll hear the President speak to today.
This means we’re driving infrastructure investments that can boost and connect economic development across multiple countries and sectors, like rail expansion that can open investment opportunities like large-scale farming, digital infrastructure, and renewable energy generation.
We’ll continue to work in partnership with the private sector. And you’ll see we invited private sector representatives to join us today at the PGII side event, or tomorrow Japan time.
We’ll be more comprehensively engaging investors so that we can better mobilize capital for infrastructure in emerging markets.
We will do all of this work with a real focus on raising labor and environmental standards and promoting transparency, governance, and anti-corruption measures.
We’re giving countries a real alternative, opening a serious, sustainable challenge to unlocking public and private capital for these projects in the developing world.
This work goes hand in hand with President Biden’s commitment to steering institutions like the World Bank to evolve and expand to address global challenges that directly affect its core mission of poverty reduction, including climate change. And we’re very pleased to have Ajay Banga taking up his role as president of the World Bank early next month to be able to drive that vision forward.
Finally, you’re going to see, tomorrow, the United States demonstrate our ongoing commitment to strengthen health security around the world.
President Biden will announce that USAID will make — plans to make a $250 million contribution, with congressional notification, to the Pandemic Fund to expand our global health security efforts. This planned investment will help catalyze additional contributions from other donors as well.
And with that, I’m happy to take your questions.
MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, [senior administration official]. If you have a question, please use the “raise your hand” function on Zoom, and we’ll take as many of them as we can.
First, let’s go to Trevor. Trevor, you should be able to unmute yourself.
Q Thanks for taking the question. Just two things related to some of what you talked about. One, curious if there’s going to be an opportunity to have a bilat with Vietnam and talk about some of the issues related to China. And also just curious if there’s going to be anything in this — these announcements related to critical minerals supply chain diversification. Thank you.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Great. On your first question, I have nothing to announce about the President’s schedule tonight.
On your second question, in terms of critical minerals supply chain diversification, it’s something that the G7 has discussed a lot. I mean, there’s a lot of unity around the need to take action to make sure that our supply chains, both for critical minerals but also for other essential items, are diversified and resilient.
You’ll see elements of that in both the Clean Energy Action Plan, where critical mineral supplies is absolutely essential to securing a resilient clean energy economy of the future. And you’ll also see the elements of that in our work on economic security, which will also be published tomorrow.
So, a lot to unpack there. But I would say that it’s — there — the resilience of our supply chains for critical minerals and other items has been a real theme of this G7. And so there will be things to look forward to tomorrow, in terms of announcements.
MODERATOR: Thank you. Next up, let’s go to Jordan Fabian. Jordan, you should be able to unmute yourself.
Q Hi there. You know, you just said that, you know, we’re going to see a lot of things happen at the summit. But the reality is that the media covering the President hasn’t been able to see much of anything at the summit. And so, how is the White House planning to make sure the American public knows, you know, what the President is doing here, if the plan is really to limit or really curtail access to the working sessions at the G7?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Great. So — so, just to reiterate what I think we’ve previously said, Japan is in charge of all of the arrangements, including press condu- — credentials for the summit, so I’d refer you to the Japanese presidency.
MODERATOR: Thank you. Next up, we’ll go to Demetri. Demetri, you should be able to unmute yourself.
Q Hi. Thanks very much. I’ve two questions, [senior administration official]. The first is: On economic security in China, are you going to actually unveil specific measures and tools to counter China, or is it more kind of a general alignment and unity on principles to do that?
And secondly, I’m just curious, with the — the appearance of Zelenskyy on Sunday, do you think that kind of complements some of the things you’re trying to do in China by linking what’s happening in Europe to some of the potential contingencies in Asia in the future?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Great. So — so, Demetri, on your first question, I don’t want to get out ahead of the statement that the Japan — Japanese presidency is going to release tomorrow on economic security. But I will say that we were very specific in discussing both tools and common approaches and unity around the principles and unity about — around the concerns and the risks that are posed to our economies’ fundamental security.
On your second question, I just don’t have anything to say about the travel of foreign leaders. So, I think we’ll — we’ll leave it at that.
MODERATOR: Thank you. Our last question will go to Patsy. Patsy, you should be able to unmute yourself.
Q Hi. Thank you for taking my question. So, a couple of things. You mentioned PGII. Can you give us an update in terms of actual numbers? I understand that the goal is to shore up up to $600 billion within five years. This is starting from last year.
And if you could speak on whether there are any debt-restructuring efforts, particularly for post-pandemic debt that were accumulated through infrastructure and other loans, mainly from China.
And if you have an update on the trilateral between U.S., Japan, and South Korea, please. Thanks.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Great. Thanks. So — so, on your first question, on — on specific numbers with PGII, we’ll be having a fantastic side event tomorrow, and we’ll have more to say on that then once those — those numbers have been released.
On the — your second question on debt, this actually has been something that we’ve discussed extensively here at the G7, most importantly because we have a real problem in the international economy right now, which is that China is blocking the functioning of normal debt-relief mechanisms as well as the new mechanism that has been set up under the G20, called the Common Framework.
And so we have a real issue where the debts that have been accumulated by countries because of — over the course of — of China’s lending practices are not being addressed in a prompt and adequate way.
So we had good conversations here with G7 partners about the importance of this issue. We are — we’ll be raising the importance of this issue in the communications that G7 pushes out. And it’s a major issue of focus because we very much acknowledge that the debt crisis facing vulnerable economies around the world are a major challenge at this moment and are interrelated with development, with climate, with resilience — and so something that we are very much focused on and are really working to think about how to push China to be a constructive player, not block the debt relief these countries need.
MODERATOR: Thank you. And thanks, everyone, for joining.
As a reminder, this call was on background, attributable to a “senior administration official,” and the embargo lifts at 11:30 p.m. Japan Standard Time and 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, both on the 19th.
Thanks again for joining.