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Global Policy Brief No. 3

COVID-19 and the Consequences for Free Trade

Popular Science
Björling, Ewa, Andreas Hatzigeorgiou, Magnus Lodefalk and Fredrik Sjöholm (2020). “COVID-19 and the Consequences for Free Trade”. Global Policy Brief No. 3. Special theme COVID-19 and policy implications, June 1, 2020. Global Labor Organization.

Ewa Björling, Andreas Hatzigeorgiou, Magnus Lodefalk, Fredrik Sjöholm

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global trade, investment and value chains. There is a risk that newly imposed barriers to international trade and mobility will become permanent. Research shows that veiled protectionism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic would be associated with greater risks and impede the economic recovery needed to avoid a new economic depression. We argue that failing to reboot free trade and to restore global value chains could aggravate an already difficult and delicate situation in regard to global economic development and poverty reduction. In order to reboot globalization, however, there needs to be a new approach. Simply going over old ground would be insufficient.