The UK will use an upcoming G7 summit to push fellow members of the group to agree a collective approach for reforming and modernizing the World Trade Organization (WTO).
International trade secretary Liz Truss is hosting a virtual meeting with her counterparts from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US to ensure the organization's rulebook is fit for the new environment.
The meeting is taking place on May 27th and 28th and is hosted by the UK as part of its presidency of the G7. It will also include representatives from the EU, the OECD and the WTO itself.
If reforms are not made to bring the WTO into the 21st century, Ms Truss warned there is a danger of the global trade system fragmenting.
"It really is now or never for the World Trade Organization," she said. "International trade only works when it is fair and when countries submit themselves to a common set of rules, and for that to happen we need a more modern and dynamic WTO."
Among the priorities to be set out by the UK are a fully-functional dispute resolution system, advances in digital and green trade, and an end to unfair subsidies in industry and agriculture.
Ms Truss said she will urge her fellow G7 members to support the efforts being made by WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is looking to create a new framework for reform ahead of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, which takes place in November.
"Like-minded democracies need to lead the charge on trade reform, because if we don’t then there is a very real danger that global trade fragments and that fewer countries end up playing by the rules," she continued.