Export Restrictions in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic [Updated August 25, 2020] [open pdf - 486KB]
From the Document: "In response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, countries all over the world, including the United States, have imposed temporary restrictions on exports of certain medical goods and some foodstuffs in order to mitigate potential shortages of key supplies. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), for G-20 [Group of Twenty] countries, export bans accounted for more than 90% of trade restrictions related to the pandemic. Many measures are not explicit bans, but vary from licensing requirements to mandates for sales to the state. These restrictions have raised debate about the consistency of such actions with WTO rules and the potential impact on the global trading system. Some markets depend heavily on countries that have implemented restrictions. Most leading exporters are also major importers of critical supplies, with integrated supply chains at risk. The proliferation of such measures has prompted some countries to commit to limit restrictions or to abide by certain principles in their temporary application. Some Members of Congress have weighed in on the issue, both in terms of the immediate disruption from COVID-19, but also on the future of supply chains."
CRS In Focus, IF11551
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/