PNITA Update: COVID-19 impact on international trade in the Northwest

PNITA Update: COVID-19 impact on international trade in the Northwest

A staggering 30 million workers--including more than 334,000 Oregonians--have applied for unemployment in the last few weeks.

The economic pain is widespread here and abroad, and with this devastation comes discussion about what the future of the economy, trade and globalization will look like in a post COVID-19 world. Though there are still many unknowns, the shape of our economic recovery depends on a carefully planned and phased opening of normal economic activity, paired with sufficient testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) availability.

Perhaps one of the biggest implications of the COVID-19 era may be how it shifts our views on globalization. And though rallying cries of nationalism and protectionism existed before the COVID-19 outbreak, the pandemic has highlighted some of the challenges of globalization. In particular, how globalized just in time supply chains can create risk for national interests, such as in the medical equipment and pharmaceutical industry. Yet, we cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater. As we think about what changes are needed to our economic strategy to ensure our global competitiveness and security, we must not give into protectionist economics. Doing so would only hurt our domestic businesses and workers. Globalization is strongly woven into all aspects of our lives, and though it may look slightly different in the future, this reality will not change. 

We need, and must, continue to work closely with our international partners on trade, climate change, security, and potential future health threats. And Pacific Northwest International Trade Association (PNITA) is here to help connect the dots and do just that, for Oregon and beyond.

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