Simon J. Evenett | 11 Mar 2020

Protective medical equipment (such as masks), medicines, disinfectant, and soap are needed to tackle the Coronavirus. Many countries source these medical supplies from abroad and so trade policy stance becomes part of national policy responses to the Coronavirus. Using information on policy developments through to 10 March 2020, this note presents a global picture on the resort to export and import restrictions on these much needed medical supplies. The likely effects of these restrictions are discussed along with their coherence with the medical responses to the Coronavirus. The note describes how trade policy can make a positive contribution to this important societal threat and five specific policy recommendations are advanced.