Trade Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis: Evidence from a New Dataset

33 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2020

See all articles by Simon Evenett

Simon Evenett

University of St. Gallen - Economics Department - SIAW

Matteo Fiorini

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Johannes Fritz

Global Trade Alert; University of St. Gallen

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Piotr Lukaszuk

University of St. Gallen

Nadia Rocha

The WorldBank Group

Michele Ruta

Economic Research Division, WTO; Columbia Business School - Economics Department; International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Filippo Santi

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Anirudh Shingal

India Habitat Centre - Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)

Date Written: November 2020

Abstract

This paper presents new high frequency data on trade policy changes targeting medical and food products since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, documenting how countries used trade policy instruments in response to the health crisis on a week-by-week basis. The dataset reveals a rapid increase in trade policy activism in February and March 2020 in tandem with the rise in COVID-19 cases, but also uncovers extensive heterogeneity across countries in both their use of trade policy and the types of measures used. Some countries acted to restrict exports and facilitate imports, others targeted only one of these margins, and many did not use trade policy at all. The observed heterogeneity suggests numerous research questions on the drivers of trade policy responses to COVID-19, on the effects of these measures on trade and prices of critical products, and on the role of trade agreements in influencing the use of trade policy.

Keywords: COVID-19, trade policy, export restrictions, import liberalization

JEL Classification: F13, F52, I18

Suggested Citation

Evenett, Simon and Fiorini, Matteo and Fritz, Johannes and Hoekman, Bernard and Lukaszuk, Piotr and Rocha, Nadia and Ruta, Michele and Santi, Filippo and Shingal, Anirudh, Trade Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis: Evidence from a New Dataset (November 2020). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2020/78, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3745618 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3745618

Simon Evenett (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen - Economics Department - SIAW ( email )

Bodanstrasse 8
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Switzerland
41 71 224 2315 (Phone)
41 71 224 2298 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.evenett.com

Matteo Fiorini

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Johannes Fritz

Global Trade Alert ( email )

Bodanstrasse 8
St.Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.globaltradealert.org

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Varnbuelstr. 14
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.siaw.unisg.ch

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )

Fiesole, Tuscany
Italy

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Piotr Lukaszuk

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Varnbuelstr. 14
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000
Switzerland

Nadia Rocha

The WorldBank Group ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Michele Ruta

Economic Research Division, WTO ( email )

Rue de Lausanne 154
CH-1211 Geneva
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.iue.it/Personal/Fellows/MicheleRuta/Welcome.htm

Columbia Business School - Economics Department ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Filippo Santi

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Anirudh Shingal

India Habitat Centre - Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) ( email )

Core 6A, Fourth Floor Lodhi Road
New Delhi, 110003
India

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