trade topics

COVID-19 and world trade

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented disruption to the global economy and world trade, as production and consumption are scaled back across the globe.

One of the most effective means of addressing this crisis is through timely, accurate information. An informed public is better positioned to make sound decisions including on questions related to trade. This is why we have created this dedicated page on the WTO website. It will provide up-to-the minute trade-related information including relevant notifications by WTO members, the impact the virus has had on exports and imports and how WTO activities have been affected by the pandemic.

Latest news

 

Trade forecast 2021

Frequently asked questions: The WTO and COVID-19

WTO reports on COVID-19 and world trade

More reports

Information-sharing sessions

Multilateral Leaders' Task Force on COVID-19

A global effort to help developing countries access and deliver COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and therapeutics, as they work to end the pandemic and boost economic recovery.

COVID-19: Trade and trade-related measures

COVID-19: Support measures

The table below lists the support measures taken by WTO members and observers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures have been submitted by delegations directly to the WTO Trade Monitoring Section in response to the requests by the Director-General in March 2020 and by Deputy Director-General Agah in September 2020. The list only includes measures communicated by members and observers and features measures only in the original language of the submission. The list is an informal situation report and an attempt to provide transparency with respect to support measures taken in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

WTO members' proposals on COVID-19

Latest proposal

Enquiry points

In many areas of trade, WTO members are required to establish or maintain one or more “Enquiry Points” to answer reasonable enquiries of governments, traders and other interested parties and provide relevant documents and information. In emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, access to information on product requirements and certification procedures can be crucial, as it can minimize or avoid delays or rejections at customs points.

WTO members' notifications on COVID-19

As of , WTO members had submitted a total of related to COVID-19.

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global race infographic

WTO Trade Barometers

The WTO has developed a set of indicators to provide “real-time” information on trends in world trade: the Goods Trade Barometer and the Services Trade Barometer. Both barometers highlight turning points in world trade and are intended to complement conventional trade statistics and forecasts.


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Throughout the pandemic, the WTO rules have kept global trade flowing and fostered transparency on measures taken by countries to respond to the crisis. … The pandemic has placed tremendous strain on peoples’ health and livelihoods around the world. The WTO can show that it is capable of effectively addressing a global challenge like COVID-19, and helping the world build back better.

Ambassador Katherine Tai, US Trade Representative
14 October 2021

Maintaining open trade

I remain convinced that mass vaccination is the only way to contain the pandemic and ensure global economic recovery. Economic recovery will also depend on the quality and dynamism of partnerships and the liberalization of trade between developing countries. We must therefore seize the full potential of South-South and triangular cooperation in the technical, cultural and commercial spheres.

H.E. Mr Hassoumi Massoudou, Minister of State, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Niger
21 September 2021

We must put life first and promote vaccine accessibility around the world. COVID-19 vaccination is the largest effort of this kind in human history. … Vaccines are first and foremost a global public good. … While ramping up total supply, producing countries should also support developing countries through technology transfer and joint production, and safeguard the global supply chain of raw materials.

We must practice multilateralism and make international cooperation more effective.

Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China
5 August 2021

More

Trade Facilitation and COVID-19: Report on Survey Results

This report compiles the findings of the joint COVID-19 survey carried out by TFAF, ICC and the Alliance.

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