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Articles by Espitia, Rocha, Ruta

COVID-19 and food protectionism

May 24, 2020

Could COVID-19 lead to a global food crisis? As the virus spreads around the world, there are concerns that global food security could come under pressure (Laborde et al. 2020, Martin and Glauber 2020, Torero 2020). Food production is currently high, but it could be negatively impacted by increased workers’ morbidity, disruption in supply chains, and containment measures. Governments’ attempts to restrict food exports to meet domestic needs could make things much worse. 
In a new paper (Espitia et al. 2020a), we analyse how world trade in food could be affected by COVID-19 and escalating export restrictions. We quantify the initial shock due to the pandemic under the assumption that products that are more labour intensive in production are more affected through workers’

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Trade and the COVID-19 crisis in developing countries

April 9, 2020

While COVID-19 is most virulent today in Europe and North America, many developing countries are experiencing increasing numbers of cases (see Figure 1). The Economist warned that the pandemic could have devastating effects on developing countries. As the health crisis unfolds, some have argued that trade and trade policy can be part of the solution or part of the problem (Baldwin and Tomiura 2020, Bown 2020, Gonzalez 2020, Evenett 2020, Mattoo and Ruta 2020, Posen 2020).
Based on a new database on COVID-19 trade flows and policies (Espitia et al. 2020), we document how uncooperative trade policies can lead to shortages of critical medical supplies and higher prices in fragile and vulnerable countries most hit by the crisis so far.1  
Figure 1 Developing countries most affected

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