Covid-19 Demand Shock and Preparedness Response



Meredith Broadbent | CSIS

As the U.S. economy restarts and retools after the forced shutdown induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a strong drive in Congress and the executive branch to improve the resilience of medical supply chains. The Covid-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented demand for certain medical goods, including pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, and medical devices. Manufacturers in the medical supply sector, the U.S. government, and foreign governments are likely to embrace new policies aimed at readjusting global supply chains to address vulnerabilities that have come to light. These changing circumstances present a new opportunity for the United States to reinvigorate trade relations with allies, free trade agreement partners, and trusted supplier countries. However, the newfound attention on medical supply chain resiliency has created dangerous momentum for a policy focused on reshoring supply chains. Policymakers should instead opt for an approach that builds resiliency through diversification, trust, and communication. Just as the pandemic experience revealed vulnerabilities in global supply chains, it also proved that no single country can produce all that it needs to fight Covid-19, let alone cure it. This paper breaks down CSIS recommendations for a trusted trade partner network to support international cooperation and respond to new global challenges.

This report is made possible through the generous support of Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Pfizer, Inc.; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


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