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The Post COVID-19 World

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The Post COVID-19 World

Economic Nationalism Triumphant?

Brookings Institution,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

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A foreign policy expert says that economic nationalism as an antidote to globalization is doomed to fail.

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Economic nationalism as an antidote to globalization and its highly interconnected supply chains is doomed to fail, according to foreign policy expert Mireya Solis. In this concise but thoughtful briefing, she cautions that reshored industries will have little motivation to increase production to meet demand during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, world political leaders need to adopt new mechanisms to manage trade disputes and keep supply pathways open for critical items like medical supplies. Globalization is not dead, Solis argues in this cogent text, but it needs a redesign.


The coronavirus has inflicted economic damage on a scale not seen in more than a century.

As of mid-2020, COVID-19 had claimed the lives of almost one-half million people around the world and sickened close to nine million. Unemployment has soared in many countries. The economic shocks, rivaling those of the 1930s Great Depression, have reduced global investment flows by 40% and world trade by almost one-third.

But the global trading system was in disarray before the pandemic outbreak.

The United States, driven by protectionist policies, has all but abandoned the World Trade Organization (WTO), delivering...

About the Author

Mireya Solís is a senior fellow and the director of the Center for East Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.

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