We are an international coalition of public policy research institutes and think tanks that believes that the solutions to the COVID-19 crisis will come from collaboration, open trade and innovation.
We are concerned that many countries are looking to the failed protectionism of the past to address the crisis. Barriers are being erected that are deepening shortages of medical supplies, undermining innovation and hampering efforts to beat the disease.
Now is not the time for countries to look inwards. The crisis will only be resolved, and economies will only recover, if countries are allowed to trade and collaborate freely with each other.
Fortunately, there are many simple measures that governments can make to save lives now:
1. Abolish tariffs on medical supplies and medicines
2. Reject export bans on medical supplies
3. Reduce customs red tape
4. Enable the free flow of relevant health data across borders
5. Maintain transparency in collecting and sharing epidemiological data
6. Increase cooperation with other countries to speed up drug approval
7. Support innovation, including intellectual property rights
Implementing these measures will help us overcome COVID-19, and if made permanent would better prepare the world for future pandemics.