The COVID19 impact on supply chains is well-documented. Public policy experts have been fretting over supply chain disruptions since China shuttered its factories early in the first quarter of 2020. Subsequent disruptions as the pandemic took hold in the transatlantic economy have raised the specter of a simultaneous shock to both demand and supply in the global economy.
The pandemic hit at a very inconvenient moment for the multilateral trading system. The response function from trade ministers has been glacial compared to fiscal authorities, central banks, and financial regulators. We have been watching with growing concern over the last month the steady proliferation of export bans regarding medical equipment and, in a few instances, agriculture/food items. While a handful of economies recently dropped import tariffs to zero temporarily, much more needs to be done if trade ministers are going to be part of a solution to the economic damage wrought by the pandemic.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University on Friday published our analysis and recommendations regarding how trade policy can help keep global supply chains functioning as the pandemic continues to intensify in the United States.. You can read that analysis HERE