Expert Pitch
Virginia Tech

COVID-19 could alter agricultural trade relationships; change view of globalization and interdependency for food

8-Apr-2020 1:15 PM EDT, by Virginia Tech

While progress was being made on the U.S.-China Phase One agricultural deal with changes to regulations on non-tariff barriers, COVID-19 has raised questions about diversifying suppliers for world-wide trade.

“We saw lower buying activity from China in January and February of 2020, just as China was starting to offer tariff waivers to facilitate import purchases from the U.S.” said Virginia Tech expert Jason Grant, associate professor of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech.

“COVID-19, however, has likely impacted first quarter imports as agricultural trade numbers are running significantly behind 2017 Phase One benchmark levels, which means that China would have to purchase a lot of product later this year to fulfill the deal,” said Grant. “Backhauling is another supply chain issue, if ships are delayed in China and aren’t coming to U.S. ports, or vice versa, then there could be a shortage of ships, which is not good news for U.S. producers trying to sell product to China.”

The delay in products getting to their final markets could lead countries and producers to alter their international supply chains and practices once the pandemic ceases.

“It may change the view of globalization and interdependency for food,” said Charlotte Emlinger, an agricultural and applied economics expert at Virginia Tech.

“We can imagine that countries will change their risk analysis about being dependent on other countries for food supply. Some countries may implement higher protective policies once the pandemic is over to promote food independency because this pandemic shows how fragile world interdependency is, but the behavior change of states and firms will be more drastic in manufacturing,” said Emlinger.

Mary Marchant, an expert on trade with China, also notes that “China already has a five-year plan that includes diversifying its suppliers.” However, she also acknowledges that the U.S.-China trade relationship is vital for agriculture.

“China has about 20 percent of the world’s population but only 10 percent of the world’s arable land, so they really need agricultural imports to feed their people,” said Marchant.

Background

Jason Grant is an associate professor of agricultural and applied economics in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His research expertise is in the area of agricultural trade, specifically with regards to bilateral and regional trade agreements, trade disputes, as well as tariffs and non-tariff measures. Grant has performed economic analysis and recent trade impact assessment of the 2018-19 U.S.-China trade dispute, which culminated in him co-editing a volume of recent articles entitled “The Economic Impacts of Trade Retaliation on U.S. Agriculture: A One-Year Review”. Grant directs the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Center for Agricultural Trade, which promotes agricultural trade through research, education, and outreach.

Charlotte Emlinger is an assistant professor of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on agricultural trade competitiveness and on how trade agreements or trade wars affect agricultural world trade. She teaches undergraduates about international trade and is the research lead with the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Center for Agricultural Trade.

Mary Marchant is a professor of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech. Her research examines the impact Chinese policies have on U.S. agricultural trade with an eye toward increasing U.S. market access to China. She has focused her research efforts on Chinese markets for over two decades and co-edited an award-winning volume of articles in 2018 entitled “U.S.-China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts to Agriculture” that examined the U.S.-China trade dispute as it was unfolding. Marchant is the education lead with the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Center for Agricultural Trade.

Schedule an interview

To schedule an interview with Virginia Tech experts, email Shannon Andrea in the media relations office or call 703-399-9494.  

 

Filters close

Showing results

110 of 6018
Released: 16-Jun-2021 1:10 PM EDT
Establishing Juneteenth As National Holiday is Opportunity to Create "New America"
Binghamton University, State University of New York

The Senate has unanimously passed a bill to establish Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday. This is an historic moment and an opportunity to create a “new America,” according to Anne Bailey, professor of history at Binghamton University, State University of New York and director of the Harriet Tubman Center for the Study of Freedom and Equity.

Newswise: Keeping the peace
Released: 14-Jun-2021 5:55 PM EDT
Keeping the peace
Washington University in St. Louis

New research from Washington University in St. Louis sheds light on how — and in what context — peacekeepers can contain the spread of violence in fragile post-conflict areas.

Released: 8-Jun-2021 12:45 PM EDT
2021 Gov Race is Currently Murphy’s to Lose
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Governor Phil Murphy currently has a clear path to reelection victory, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

Newswise: Political science professors sign statement warning of threats to US democracy
Released: 8-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT
Political science professors sign statement warning of threats to US democracy
University of Notre Dame

Five University of Notre Dame professors who specialize in different areas of democracy studies recently signed a strong statement of concern issued by the think tank New America warning of the serious threats to democracy in the U.S.

Released: 7-Jun-2021 2:15 PM EDT
Murphy’s Pandemic-High Ratings Ease; High Marks on Handling of the Pandemic Continue, Taxes Still a Sore Spot
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

– More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Murphy’s once-skyrocketing ratings have now returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.


Showing results

110 of 6018

close
1.96652