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World Econ ; 45(2): 342-364, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1816661


This paper presents new high-frequency data on trade policy changes targeting medical and food products since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, documenting how countries used trade policy instruments in response to the health crisis on a week-by-week basis. The data set reveals a rapid increase in trade policy activism in February and March 2020 in tandem with the rise in COVID-19 cases but also uncovers extensive heterogeneity across countries in both their use of trade policy and the types of measures used. Some countries acted to restrict exports and facilitate imports, others targeted only one of these margins, and many did not use trade policy at all. The observed heterogeneity suggests numerous research questions on the drivers of trade policy responses to COVID-19, on the effects of these measures on trade and prices of critical products, and on the role of trade agreements in influencing the use of trade policy.

Aussenwirtschaft ; 71(1):73-125, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1738262


Whether one focuses on the rise of protectionism since the financial crisis of 2008, the active tariff policy introduced by the Trump administration, or China's recent trade restrictions on Australia for pushing for an independent investigation over the Covid-19 outbreak, trade measures have increasingly become an instrument of foreign and industrial policy rather than a multilateral effort to facilitate trade on a level playing field. [...]when the United States introduced punitive tariffs on China in 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection saw a nearly 50% rise in customs rulings related to the misclassification of goods, as firms tried to exploit the fact that early tariff rounds spared products similar to theirs.2 Similarly, when Russia introduced counter-sanctions on Western agricultural products in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Russian newspapers reported on Belarusian seafood and tropical fruits appearing in local supermarkets, in clear cases of country-oforigin certificates being mislabeled to evade the import sanctions imposed on products from the European Union (Yeliseyeu, 2017). The incentives to evade trade barriers are particularly high for political sanctions, as they aim - in the form of goods sanctions - to economically impact the target economy and key decision makers by minimizing trade flows (Eaton and Engers, 1992;Kaempfer and Lowenberg, 1988), as opposed to import tariffs, which are mainly intended to extract rent and to support the implementing jurisdiction's industry. [...]a large string of the sanction literature addresses their effectiveness in the context of their (lack of) enforceability (Caruso, 2003;McLean and Whang, 2010;van Bergeijk and Biersteker, 2015). [...]I identify five different channels of sanction evasion and empirically analyze four of them, thus consolidating the various concepts of smuggling and evasion recorded in the literature.