International affairs

Australian trade and supply chains

As part of our Economic Recovery series, CEDA is examines the implications for Australia’s security of supply for goods now and into the future and outlining how Australia should respond to emerging trends, including implications for trade and industry policy.

Australia’s economy has greatly benefitted from international trade, specialising in the export of minerals and services while importing manufactured goods; but the high exposure to global markets results in risks to supply chain security amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent disruptions to flows of goods and people between borders.

The current global health crisis has escalated the urgency of these questions and fears around shortages of critical goods, such as medical equipment while the uncertain global trade environment of the past two years, characterised by escalating tariffs between China and the US, has already raised significant questions about the fundamental features of international supply chain distribution, such as geographically dispersed specialisation and just-in-time inventory management.

To what extent will Australia’s economy be impacted by global supply chain disruptions resulting from COVID-19 in the short-and long-term and how should businesses and government respond?

Analysis: Trade and supply chains: pressure points in perspective blog series

In this three-part blog series, CEDA researchers examine what the data suggests about how exposed Australia’s exports and imports are, and provide an initial assessment of some of the suggestions that are being made to bolster Australian trade supply chains.

Part one:
In part one CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball, gives a comprehensive overview of the way the crisis has disrupted Australian trade, to inform the ongoing debate about Australia's dependence on exports.
Read it here

Part two:
CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball, discusses how the COVID-19 crisis has affected imports to Australia in part two of CEDA's three part blog series, Trade and supply chains: pressure points in perspective.
Read it here 

Part three:
CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball, offers four key lessons Australia should take out of the COVID-19 experience to ensure our trade and supply chains bounce back better in part three of CEDA's three part series, Trade and supply chains: pressure points in perspective.
Read it here 

Trade and supply chains: series wrap up

CEDA Associate Director Policy, David Bowtell, concludes CEDA's series of work on supply chains and trade after COVID-19 with a wrap-up of a recent CEDA panel discussion and some insights collected from consultations with CEDA members. 

Read it here.

Trade in the post-pandemic world 

In an analysis prepared for CEDA by Gary Sampson, Professor of International Trade at Melbourne Business School, former Director at the GATT and WTO, and Senior Counsellor to the WTO Director General, addresses the challenges facing world trade following the COVID-19 pandemic and shares the world economy will require more, not less, global trade cooperation after COVID-19.

Listen: The Economists' Corner with Dr. Hubertus Bardt

How has the disruption to supply chains and trade impacted Germany? How does their response to reopening their economy compare with Australia? CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball spoke with German Economic Institute Managing Director and Head of Research, Dr. Hubertus Bardt.