Tragedy of vaccine nationalism: Only cooperation can end the pandemic


July 28, 2020, 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM EDT
PIIE Virtual Event

Thomas J. Bollyky (Council on Foreign Relations) and Chad P. Bown (PIIE)

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Event Summary

Thomas J. Bollyky and Chad P. Bown discussed their Foreign Affairs article "The Tragedy of Vaccine Nationalism: Only Cooperation Can End the Pandemic" at a virtual event to be held by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) on July 28, 2020.

Bollyky and Bown argue that the world needs to immediately negotiate an enforceable COVID-19 vaccine trade and investment agreement and explain how such an agreement would serve public health and these nations' self-interest. Understandably, countries are racing to discover, manufacture, and lock in their own early access to a vaccine against COVID-19. Yet, because this approach prioritizes local populations over slowing the spread of COVID-19 elsewhere, it is an ineffective way to avoid supply chain disruptions, an inefficient way to spur economies, and perhaps a spur to unnecessary geopolitical conflict.

Thomas J. Bollyky is director of the Global Health Program and senior fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Prior to coming to CFR, Bollyky served in a variety of positions in the US government, most recently at the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Chad P. Bown, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow since March 2018, joined PIIE as a senior fellow in April 2016. Bown previously served as senior economist for international trade and investment in the White House on the Council of Economic Advisers. With Soumaya Keynes, he cohosts Trade Talks, a weekly podcast on the economics of international trade policy.