There is growing sentiment around the world to relocate manufacturing and boycott Chinese goods, seemingly to punish China for its perceived role in the COVID-19 pandemic. But what effects could a boycott have on the global economy, the cost of consumer goods and the extent of innovation?

George Naufal, an economist at Texas A&M University, said that in theory, adding restrictions on trade will lead to shortages and increase prices.

"There are so many goods produced in China that it may not be feasible to do something like this without having a long-term contingency plan," he said. "Can the U.S. produce what it needs from other countries? The answer is yes, but at what cost? It would be at the cost of innovation."

Naufal is an associate research scientist at Texas A&M's Public Policy Research Institute and a research fellow at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics, and a visiting scientist at the Center for Outcomes Research at Houston Methodist Research Institute. His current research includes work with large and complex data sets using the latest econometrics techniques with applications in health policy, criminal justice and migration.