In The News

River Davis and Trefor Moss May 3, 2020
Asia’s oil-consuming countries, such as China, South Korea and India, take advantage of plunging oil price to add to their strategic petroleum reserves. Since these countries have millions of barrels of spare capacity. Analysts suggest that such purchases would help stabilize oil prices. Oil prices have recently recovered a little from the historical negative prices, but remain down by two thirds...
Douglas A. Irwin April 28, 2020
International trade was already in retreat before the Covid-19. The pandemic will test cross-border supply chains, alliances, investments, travel and other connections. Douglas Irwin, writing for the Peterson Institute for International Economics, warns that protectionist steps to limit trade will slow or even reverse economic growth. He identifies recent eras of globalization: 1870 to 1914,...
Benjamin Fearnow April 27, 2020
The spread of Covid-19 has put economies on hold, alarming the world, and leaders look for scapegoats. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton has accused China of releasing inaccurate data on confirmed Covid-19 cases, and called it a “scandal” that US college and universities train so many Chinese. China is the leading source of international students for US colleges and universities. On a television news...
Catherine Ngai, Olivia Raimonde and Alex Longley April 20, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic stopped the global economy, and the price of future contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude oil, in May plunged into unprecedented negative territory. Brent and other pricing benchmarks also fell. Energy companies and distributors have no place to store oil, and there is no interest in crude contracts that require delivery, regardless of low price. “Underscoring just how...
Marian Blasberg, Georg Fahrion, Alexander Sarovic and Fritz Schaap April 15, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed government officials at all levels to place big orders for medical protective gear. Then suppliers cancel orders after the US president implemented the Defense Production Act, allowing the US government to commandeer supply chains, even convincing Chinese manufacturers to cancel contracts for products already paid for by other customers. “The World Trade Organization...
Philip Blenkinsop, April 15, 2020
The economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts supply chains and could reduce trade by up to a third. The World Trade Organization predicts a range between 13 and 32 percent, “a wide range because so much about the economic impact of the health crisis was uncertain,” reports Philip Blenkinsop for the World Economic Forum and Reuters. At the height of the 2009 debt crisis, trade dropped...
April 14, 2020
Economic shutdowns worldwide aim to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, yet disrupt food industry supply chains. The challenges include both shortages and waste as market demand shifts from large institutions, resorts, hotels and restaurants to households. Many businesses cannot quickly redirect or repackage supplies for household use, and producers discard perishable goods with a short shelf life. “...