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BRIEF April 1, 2020

Trade and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Shopkeepers at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority go through a purchase list from a health center, pick the supplies and pack them into boxes.

Workers in Kenya sort through a purchase list from a health center and pack supplies into boxes.

Sarah Farhat/World Bank


Maintaining trade flows during the COVID-19 pandemic will be crucial in providing access to essential food and medical items and in limiting negative impacts on jobs and poverty.

The speed and scale of the crisis are unprecedented. But governments can ameliorate the impact. This page provides initial guidance for policymakers on best practices to mitigate pandemic-related trade risks, support trade facilitation and logistics, and implement trade policy in a time of crisis.

Guidance Notes

Recomendaciones Sobre Mejores Prácticas en Facilitación de Comercio para Centroamérica Como Resultado de COVID-19 (Spanish)

Do's and Don'ts of Trade Policy in the Response to COVID-19

Facilitating Air Freight – Policies and Actions

Health Services Trade and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Logistics and Freight Services: Policies to Facilitate Trade

Managing Risk and Facilitating Trade in the COVID-19 Pandemic [Español | FrançaisPortuguês | Русский]

Recommendations to Leverage E-Commerce During the COVID-19 Crisis

Streamlining Technical Measures on Medical Products to Combat COVID-19

Trade Facilitation Best Practices Implemented in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Trade in Critical COVID-19 Products

Trade Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis in Africa


Data & Research

Database on COVID-19 Trade Flows and Policies

COVID-19 Trade Policy Monitoring: Food and Medical Products

COVID-19 Trade Watch

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

Working Papers

Covid-19 and Food Protectionism: The Impact of the Pandemic and Export Restrictions on World Food Markets 

The Potential Impact of COVID-19 on GDP and Trade


Blogs & Op-Eds

COVID-19 and food protectionism | May 24, 2020

Four reasons why globalized production helps meet demand spikes | May 12, 2020

Governments Could Bring Supply Chains Home. It Would Defy Economic Rationality. | May 1, 2020

Leveraging e-commerce in the fight against COVID-19 | April 27, 2020

Trade and the COVID-19 crisis in developing countries | April 9, 2020

Three imperatives to keep food moving in a time of fear and confusion | April 3, 2020

Viral protectionism in the time of coronavirus | March 27, 2020 (Also published in FT)


Other Resources

Trade Talks Podcast: Coronavirus and Trade Restrictions | March 14, 2020


Opening shot from the explanatory video

Managing risk and facilitating trade during COVID-19

Maintaining trade flows as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial in providing access to essential food and medical items and in limiting negative impacts on jobs and poverty. Hear from experts about how countries can mitigate pandemic-related trade risks in a time of crisis.



How Can We Help Countries Dealing with Coronavirus?

With coronavirus now spreading around the globe, urgent action is required to help countries respond.


Caroline Freund

Global Director, Trade, Investment, and Competitiveness.