ABOUT GLOBAL TRADE ALERT

The Global Trade Alert (GTA) was launched in June 2009 when it was feared that the global financial crisis would lead governments to adopt widespread 1930s-style beggar-thy-neighbour policies.

After a decade of growth coordinated and housed in the University of St.Gallen, the GTA transferred into a newly established charitable foundation. Thanks to the generous support of the University of St.Gallen, the Max Schmidheiny Foundation and Prof. Simon Evenett, the St.Gallen Endowment for Prosperity through Trade (SGEPT) launched in late 2020. The foundation is the new institutional home of the GTA since 1 January 2021.

Although global in scope, the GTA has given particular attention to the policy choices of the G-20 governments ever since their leaders made a “no protectionism” pledge in Washington DC in November 2008.

Although initially conceived as a trade policy monitoring initiative, as thousands of policy announcements have been documented, the GTA has become a widely-used input for analysis and decision-making by firms, industry associations, journalists, researchers, international organisations, and governments.

This reflects the fact that, as the International Monetary Fund noted in 2016, the GTA “has the most comprehensive coverage of all types of trade-discriminatory and trade liberalizing measures.”

For further information about the data collection methods of the Global Trade Alert see section 3 of this paper and pages 17-19 of this report. In recent years each GTA report has contained a chapter “What’s new in the Global Trade Alert database?” where updates on data collection methods, presentation of results, and sources are provided.

 
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A World Bank Policy Research Working Paper

The Covid-19 Vaccine Production Club: Will Value Chains Temper Nationalism?

Simon Evenett, Bernard Hoekman, Nadia Rocha, and Michele Ruta

In the first two months of 2021, the production of COVID-19 vaccines has suffered setbacks delaying the implementation of national inoculation strategies. These delays have revealed the concentration of vaccine manufacture in a small club of producer nations, which in turn has implications for the degree to which cross-border value chains can deter more aggressive forms of Vaccine Nationalism, such as export curbs. This paper documents the existence of this club, taking account of not just the production of final vaccines but also the ingredients of and items needed to manufacture and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. During 2017-19, vaccine producing nations sourced 88% of their key vaccine ingredients from other vaccine producing trading partners. Combined with the growing number of mutations of COVID-19 and the realization that this coronavirus is likely to become a permanent endemic global health threat, this finding calls for a rethink of the policy calculus towards ramping up the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, its ingredients, and the various items needed to deliver them. The more approved vaccines that are safely produced, the smaller will be the temptation to succumb to zero-sum Vaccine Nationalism. Read more

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