COVID-19 Slows Trade Restrictions
The movement to restrict world trade, which gathered momentum over the last five years, has been slowed by the impact of COVID-19. At least, this is what a report from the World Trade Organization seems to suggest through its comparison of trade-restrictive and trade-facilitating measures taken during the first three quarters of 2019 and a similar period in 2020. There were US$747 billion in merchandise restrictions between January and October 2019, compared to US$441 billion in restrictions during the same period in 2020. The new trend is a result of countries’ urgent attempts to source healthcare-related products and revive their battered economies. See the complete report at:
Are Commodities Back?
On another world trade front, the need to reactivate the global economy could breathe new life into the commodities that helped spark economic booms in South America at the beginning of the century, especially metals and agricultural products. A study by the World Bank estimates slight to moderate growth in both areas, propelled by the reactivation of the Chinese economy and the low value of the U.S. dollar. Although promising, the trend could be derailed by factors such as poorer populations, bottlenecks in the logistics chain, or setbacks in the global vaccination campaign. Fingers crossed.