The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented disruption to the global economy and world trade, as production and consumption scaled back across the globe. COVID-19 will be the most significant factor affecting the global economy in 2021, however, a number of additional factors have to be taken into consideration. Looking ahead to the end of 2021, the return of global trade to pre-pandemic levels requires addressing deeper structural challenges that began long before the pandemic.

TradeWorld is a recurring series of blog posts on the fast moving trade landscape in 2021. Stay tuned for more on the latest developments in this space.

Latest posts


Jun 1, 2021

Transatlantic tariffs, national security, and geopolitical priorities

By Barbara C. Matthews

The United States and the European Union announced this week the initiation of a negotiation process aimed at eliminating US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe by the end of the year. The move reflects the promised rapprochement between the Biden/Harris administration and European allies, assuaging European irritation at having the metal industry […]

Brazil European Union


Apr 22, 2021

Vaccines and TRIPS: The new trade policy challenges

By Barbara C. Matthews

Economic growth trajectories and human health vulnerabilities will be defined by a successful global vaccination rollout. Central to this will be the TRIPs Agreement, which helps govern global cross-border trade, innovation, and technology transfer, and compulsory licenses.

European Union Trade


Mar 9, 2021

Transatlantic trade: Tectonic shifts ahead for 2021

By Barbara C. Matthews

The Biden-Harris administration has signaled an intention to hit the ground running with the March 2 release of the president’s 2021 Trade Policy Agenda alongside the 2020 Annual Report. However, trade tensions loom on the horizon. How can the US and EU work together to address digital and data policy issues and the growing economic influence of China?

Digital Policy European Union

About the author

At the intersection of economics, finance, and foreign policy, the GeoEconomics Center is a translation hub with the goal of helping shape a better global economic future.