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COVID-19: A Vigorous Program of Action is Needed from the G20

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The G20 should decide that all barriers to trade in goods that the World Customs Organization (WCO) has said are critical to fighting the virus, should be removed straight away.

The author proposes the following:

  • the immediate elimination of all tariffs and restriction on the export or import of goods identified by the World Customs Organization as vital to fighting Covid 19,
  • a mutual assistance program to help countries with the greatest shortage of equipment and intensive care beds, and
  • the exemption of medical staff, who have been tested, from immigration restrictions to allow them go where they are most needed.

[John Bruton | Oped Column Syndication]

The G20, representing the world’s most important countries, and 90% of the world’s population, is getting together in a teleconference to discuss the health and economic crisis caused by the Covid 19 virus. It has been obvious for several weeks that coordinated international action was going to be needed.

Given that the G20 was brought into being in 2009 to deal with precisely this type of global crisis, the banking crisis of 2008, it is amazing that it has taken the Saudi Presidency of the G20 so long to convene at meeting. They were pressed into doing so by India.

In 2009, when the G20 was first convened, there was a reasonable relationship between the two biggest world powers, the US and China. Gordon Brown of the UK was in the chair and substantial program of action was agreed and implemented. The Financial........

© Oped Column

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