Improving Access to Medical Products Through Trade

What Can Regional Trade Agreements Do in Times of Crisis?

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The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the criticality of maintaining trade flows of essential medical products and protective equipment. However, the pandemic has also exposed some loopholes in the current trade agreements. Based on a review of 107 regional trade agreements (RTAs) and an examination of national measures, this study examines the case for, and the modalities through which, emergency provisions may be introduced in RTAs which would reduce regulatory divergence in order to facilitate trade in medical goods during the pandemic. The study offers some “model provisions” that can be a starting point for RTA negotiators to build upon.

Related Subject(s): International Trade and Finance


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