On October 2, 2020 India and South Africa proposed a temporary waiver on coronavirus vaccine patent rights in a meeting of the World Trade Organization. With over 100 co-signatories (mostly developing countries), the so-called “TRIPS Vaccine Waiver” has raised questions about intellectual property and access ethics during a pandemic.
It looks like the United States just became a third wheel. Recent economic data from the E.U.’s statistical office shows that China is now the European Union’s biggest trading partner of goods, knocking the U.S. from its prime spot. While the European Union has been China’s biggest importer for some time, the relationship only became mutual during the pandemic, likely due to the increase in demand for Chinese medical products in the E.U. In turn, demand for European goods in China also grew.
The U.S. dollar finds itself as the currency of the global economy. In extreme circumstances, many countries even replace their own sovereign currencies for the dollar, in hopes of bringing much-needed economic stability. The dollar’s dominance, however, is not uncontested and its use is not without drawbacks.