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Export Restrictions and Food Security in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

220_PSU_Export Restrictions and Food Security in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Published Date May 2020
Type of Publication Reports
Publication Under APEC Secretariat, APEC Policy Support Unit
Accessed 8607
Pages 5
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Key messages from this policy brief are:

  1. While WTO rules allow export bans and restrictions in specific situations, the implementation of such measures could affect food security. Price of food could increase, affecting mostly the poorest households.
  2. Maize, rice and wheat contribute to around 40 percent of the global intake of calories. Looking at their stocks-to-use ratios, the food security situation is stronger now compared to the 2007–2008 global food crisis. However, these ratios are low, or not improving, in a number of APEC economies, which suggests the need to pursue open trade policies to strengthen food security in APEC economies.
  3. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, few export restrictions have been observed in APEC economies, but APEC needs to stay vigilant to prevent a health crisis from becoming a food crisis as well.
  4. APEC could intensify cooperation efforts in the following areas:
  • Working toward a collective commitment to avoid unnecessary export bans and restrictions on food products.
  • Lowering import tariffs and other quantitative import restrictions on food products, as well as pursuing deals to maintain connectivity and avoid supply chain disruptions.
  • Strengthening international cooperation and transparency to share information in a timely manner.
  • Exchanging best practices on efforts to keep the food value chain moving during the COVID-19 pandemic.