WTO warned the global traders about COVID-19 threats while raising its estimate for the rebound in global trade. Lagging vaccinations, regional disparities, and weakness in the service industry are held responsible for the liquidation of the trade. Demand in North America should be a major factor driving rebounding demand for goods thanks to the large fiscal relief and stimulus spending by the United States government.
Eradicate the ‘stand-in line’ legacy
WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called for better access to vaccines for people in poorer countries. The rapid development of vaccines has given the world a chance to halt the pandemic, “but this opportunity could be squandered if large numbers of countries and people do not have equal access to vaccines,” she said. Delineated the loss incurred by the freight breakdown after Ever Green rammed into the Suez Canal; she demanded a rapid, global and equitable distribution of and production of the vaccine.
Global Trade Forecast
Merchandise trade spike by 8% is expected in 2021, after crashing to 5.3% in 2020. The 2020 drop was less than expected due to the robust second-half rebound fuelled by strong monetary and fiscal support by many governments. “The strong rebound in global trade since the middle of last year has helped soften the blow of the pandemic for people, businesses, and economies,” Okonjo-Iweala said. She coerced the importance of mass vaccination to reverse the health and economic crisis worldwide.
TPT Policy Advocacy & Recommendations
- The WTO should postulate policies to boost confidence in trade and global markets by improving transparency. It should refrain from imposing new tariffs which may escalate the crisis. Trade of key essentials should be prioritized amidst the crisis. Coordination amongst governments is deemed of utmost importance to combat the logistical constraints affecting trade. Restrictions on unmercenary export must be imposed.
- The administrative heads across the globe should reconsider the list of strategic goods which require domestic production or impose new sourcing constraints on businesses. The global health crises should be addressed to solidify bonds and intensify trade bilaterally.