(Bloomberg) -- UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt warned Western allies not to “creep back into protectionism” as the US and European Union prepare new trade barriers against goods from China.

At the Group of Seven finance ministers meeting in Stresa, Italy, Hunt said the UK will “think hard” before erecting trade barriers. The government, he said, has done detailed work on the issue but is legally prevented from delivering new policies until after the election on July 4.

Hunt also said that US proposals to use income from frozen Russian assets for Ukrainian aid have been “well received” at the G-7 meeting.

His remarks suggest the UK is more relaxed than the US and EU over China’s trade practices. A draft of the communique from ministers at the lakeside resort of Stresa warned they will respond to “harmful practices” in global trade. 

The US has already announced new tariffs on Chinese goods, while the EU is deciding whether to slap trade barriers on Chinese electric vehicles. The UK has not announced an intention to step up trade barriers against China.

“We will take a very balanced view,” Hunt said Saturday in an interview with Bloomberg television. “Our general view is that it is really important that the world does not unintentionally creep back into protectionism.”

“Our starting point is that we really think hard before imposing tariffs or trade remedies. But we are still going through the detailed work necessary to come to a decision.”

He said a decision on tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles would be made by whatever government takes office after the election. Hunt’s Conservative government is trailing far behind the Labour opposition in polls.

“A great deal of work to be done inside the UK government so that we will be ready to make a decision promptly,” Hunt said.

A draft communique from G-7 ministers at Stresa said they are discussing “potential schemes” to use profits from frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine. 

Options on support for Ukraine will be presented ahead of the leaders summit next month.

“We’re looking very carefully at the proposal that the US has made about how we can get significant sums to Ukraine,” Hunt said, adding that the plans were “well-received” by G-7 countries.

“The G-7 was absolutely united in support of Ukraine, and it always has been, but I felt that it was stronger than I’ve seen it before, and I think that needs to send a very big signal to Putin that we are not going to let him succeed.”

--With assistance from Toru Fujioka, Jorge Valero, Caroline Connan, Zoe Schneeweiss, Craig Stirling, Viktoria Dendrinou, Alessandra Migliaccio, Kamil Kowalcze and William Horobin.

(Updates with details from the interview.)

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