From the US Chamber of Commerce
In my conversations over the past week – including with former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors Jason Furman, leaders from the Global Business Coalition, and executives from across our membership – the need for effective global coordination to combat the fallout from COVID-19 has emerged as a central theme.
On the health front, governments have improved their coordination and pledged new funding for vaccine development. The private sector has also risen to the challenge and embraced public/private collaboration to create both vaccines and treatments.
The picture is more troubling on global trade and protectionism. Over the past couple of months, some 88 countries have put in place export restrictions on masks, ventilators, and other essential medical drugs and equipment. Citing national security concerns, countries including Japan and India have also moved to establish significant new requirements and restrictions around foreign investment.
There is an important conversation to be had around supply chain resiliency, but new trade barriers — erected without a grasp of the facts on where medical products are made or where supply chain vulnerabilities lie — will undermine pandemic response as well as our economic recovery.
We need to get the facts straight, think about products that need to be stockpiled before a pandemic strikes and reflect on how supply chain diversity enhances security. As economies around the world reopen, resilient and open global trade will be critical to expedite recovery.
–Myron Brilliant, Executive Vice President, Head of International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerc