Export Restrictions in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic [Updated April 23, 2021] [open pdf - 494KB]
From the Document: "In response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, countries all over the world, including the United States, 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 20] 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 a right of first refusal for the government of the exporting country. 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 trade restrictions. Most leading exporters are also major importers of critical supplies, which put integrated supply chains at risk. The proliferation of such measures prompted some countries to lift restrictions or to abide by certain principles in their temporary application."
CRS In Focus, IF11551
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/