Trade policy and food price volatility: Beggar thy neighbor or beggar thyself?

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BY WILL MARTIN, ABDULLAH MAMUN, NICK MINOT AND ROB VOS
OPEN ACCESS | CC-BY-4.0

Recent shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war have disrupted global food and fertilizer supply chains—causing price spikes and increased price volatility—a disastrous combination for many vulnerable consumers around the world.

As in past global food price crises, governments have used trade policies to try to protect consumers from rising prices. Many net food-exporting countries have tried to contain food price inflation by imposing export restrictions, while many importing countries have lowered import barriers on staple foods to achieve the same outcome.

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