The Week Ahead in International Trade: Manifesto launches, G7 meeting and customs classification insights

Mon 10 Jun 2024
Posted by: Benjamin Roche

As the date of the UK general election draws a week closer, the main parties are this week launching their manifestos, with taxes, trade and business in the spotlight.

Leaders from across the world will also be convening for meetings in Italy, Switzerland and Russia, while the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) is hosting a free webinar offering traders information on customs classification.

Manifesto destiny

The UK general election is likely to continue dominating the headlines this week, which kicks off with the launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto today. The Lib Dems’ plan is set to focus on healthcare and NHS funding, while pledging no increases to income tax, national insurance or VAT.

The party has previously stated that “Britain’s best future is at the heart of Europe” and that its focus is “deepening trade with Europe”.

The Conservative manifesto is set to launch tomorrow or Wednesday, meanwhile. It will include a host of policy offerings announced previously by prime minister Rishi Sunak – including a new national service requirement for young adults, caps on worker visas to limit immigration and long-term pledges to cut taxes.

Labour’s manifesto is due on Thursday. Its pledges will include the establishment of a new publicly-owned ‘Great British Energy’ firm, a promise not to increase VAT or income tax, and plans to limit the hiring of foreign workers.


This year’s Group of Seven (G7) meeting begins on Thursday in Italy’s Borgo Egnazia resort, running until Saturday. Reuters reported yesterday that the group intends to send a warning to small banks in China over their support for Russian evasion of western sanctions. Negotiations are said to be ongoing on the exact content of the warning.

It’s not the only meeting of global leaders taking place this week. Just a short flight from Borgo Egnazia is the Bürgenstock Resort above Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, where a peace summit on the war between Russia and Ukraine is set to take place over the weekend.

The meeting won’t be attended by Russian president Vladimir Putin, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres or US president Joe Biden, according to the Kyiv Independent. There could, however, be discussion over the sanctions regime currently in place against Russia as a result of the war.

Russia itself is holding a two-day meeting with foreign ministers from the BRICs nation group starting today, hosted by its foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Stats and rates

The US Federal Reserve makes another decision on interest rates this week. It appears unlikely the rate will be cut after an unexpected boost to US hiring rates last month stoked renewed fears over inflation. The current rates of 5.25–5.5% mark a 23-year high.

The Bank of Japan also has a decision to make on its own interest rate this week, after it recently abandoned its long-term negative interest rate policy to adopt a rate of 0–0.1%.

A range of economic statistics will also be released this week, with the UK’s GDP estimate for the month of April to be published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday.


IOE&IT is hosting a free public webinar on Wednesday examining the importance of customs classification, in partnership with TariffTel.

Experts from both organisations will offer insights on how traders can best approach classification, storing data and keeping records. The value of digital solutions in managing goods data along the supply chain will also be in focus. You can sign up here.