Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to call for “global action” to tackle supply chain issues on his first official visit to the United States.
Mr Sunak will encourage finance ministers from G20 nations to “work together” to ensure supply chains are more resilient in the future following the struggles in getting goods around the world during the pandemic due to driver shortages and container ships stacking up.
The chancellor will be in Washington DC to attend a meeting of G20 finance ministers and chair the final in-person meeting of the G7’s finance ministers before the UK’s presidency ends.
It is his first visit to the US since becoming chancellor in February 2020, just a month before the first COVID lockdown when the furlough scheme started.
His trip comes as the UK continues to struggle with an HGV driver shortage that is impacting supermarket and fuel deliveries amid warnings this week there could be a shortage of salt gritter drivers this winter.
Mr Sunak will encourage further support for vulnerable countries that are also struggling with supply chain issues.
As he left for the US, Mr Sunak said: “Global cooperation is key to addressing our shared challenges as we emerge from the pandemic.
“From global tax reform to global supply chains, we must work together to seek international solutions for the benefit of our citizens at home.”
He will call on G7 finance ministers to use the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), an international reserve asset issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
G7 and G20 ministers should contribute, he will say, towards the IMF’s poverty reduction and growth trust, which provides zero interest loans to vulnerable countries who need financial support.
Mr Sunak is expected to indicate strong support for a new IMF resilience and sustainability trust and encourage G7 and G20 minister to give their political and financial backing.
The trust would redirect new SDR reserves to low-income and vulnerable middle-income countries to help them address health and climate risks and support green and sustainable economic growth.
The chancellor will also use the meeting to reiterate the importance of continued vaccine rollouts around the world.
And Mr Sunak will urge finance ministers to coordinate action and “ambitious” emissions reduction targets from G20 nations to get towards net zero.