International Economic Law and the COVID-19 sanitary crisis: an introduction

Julien Chaisse


The sanitary crisis has already had a substantial influence on the global economy, with restrictions on sanitary material exports, interruption of international transportation, increased screening of foreign investment, and challenges to intellectual property rights. It has compelled states to reconsider their core interests and national security, for example, in terms of maintaining pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing capacity. In addition, the lockdowns adopted in many countries have raised questions about their conformity with the existing free trade and investment treaties, and about the rationale of exceptions and derogations in these treaties. The economic consequences of the crisis have resulted in huge stimulus packages by national governments, putting a strain on the public exchequer and increasing debt. Financial experts also anticipate that the public debt to GDP ratio of most developed as well as emerging nations would further skyrocket and therefore the IMF, development banks, and other international financial institutions have been mobilized to meet the current and forthcoming financial needs of the most affected economies. Consequently, these diverse topics need a legal discussion, with an emphasis on the States' unique reactions and practices in their economic interactions, as well as the possibility of a post-COVID-19 world economic order.

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ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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