G20 ministers vow to focus on free, fair trade in pandemic response

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Trade ministers from the Group of 20 major economies on Monday agreed to step up cooperation and coordination to ensure the continued flow of vital medical supplies and equipment and other essentials in the face of the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

In a joint statement, the ministers said they would take “immediate necessary measures” to facilitate such trade and encourage additional production. They said they agreed that all emergency measures should be “targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary,” and would work to keep their markets open.

The ministers said they would work to prevent profiteering and unjustified price increases, while striving to ensure the availability of medical supplies and drugs at affordable prices.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama