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The Impact of COVID-19 Trade Measures on Agricultural and Food Trade

New AAEA member research released in AEPP

New research assesses the impact of COVID-19 related import facilitating and export restricting non-tariff measures (NTMs) on agricultural and food trade. Earlier studies concerned with the trade effects of COVID-19 have overlooked the differential impacts caused by these temporary trade measures. In a new article, “The Impact of COVID-19 Trade Measures on Agricultural and Food Trade,” published in Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Sandro Steinbach and Soojung Ahn from the University of Connecticut show that export restricting NTMs achieved the set policy goals. At the same time, there is no evidence of long-term trade disruptions.

Steinbach says, “We find that higher domestic COVID-19 case numbers reduce the probability of a country implementing an import facilitating NTM. We also find that an elevated foreign COVID-19 prevalence adversely impacts the likelihood of a country implementing an export restricting NTM.”

He continues, “Our empirical analysis shows that the NTM trade effects are most substantial within the first five months after implementing a temporary trade measure, resulting in average post-event trade effects of 5.4% for import facilitating NTMs and -27.5% for export restricting NTMs.”

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ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
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