JRJ：How would Coronavirus affect the international trade？
Alan Deardorff：The virus began to reduce international trade already when it was only in China, as Chinese factories were shut down and their products then were not exported. As the virus spread to the rest of the world, the same happened there and the shutdown continue to expand, so trade continues to shrink, probably much more than it did in the 2008-9 recession.
JRJ：How would Coronavirus affect the global supply chain？
Alan Deardorff：Much of that trade is of inputs and parts that work their way through global supply chains, and those chains are being interrupted even when many of the links in the chains have not yet been broken. Firms that remain open are struggling to find alternative sources for what they need, but that is seldom successful in the midst of this global problem.
JRJ：How would Coronavirus affect our daily life after we finally defeat it？
Alan Deardorff：That is of course hard to know, as the modern world has never experienced anything like this before。 (The 1918 flu pandemic was like this in some ways, but the world, and daily life within it, were both much different then。) It also depends on whether the pandemic is fully resolved, or instead continues to endanger people at a lower level indefinitely。 But even if it is fully resolved, this experience will surely cause households and firms to rethink their normal practices。 Having found how much we can do remotely, some of that will surely continue。 Travel may never fully recover, as we learn from this that it is not as necessary as we thought。 And producers will look for ways to reduce their vulnerability to future interruptions, by sourcing closer to home。 But that will raise costs, and reduce real incomes。
JRJ：Some Chinese experts are comparing this crisis to the Great Depression and subprime mortgage crisis in 2008. What are the similarities and differences?
Alan Deardorff：The biggest difference, from an economic point of view, is that the cause of falling GDP and employment in this case is coming mostly from the side of supply, not demand. Businesses are shutting down not because of reduced sales but because of danger to their workers. This is different from any previous recession or depression, and therefore is uncharted territory. The normal policies for fixing these are on the side of demand, and it’s not clear that those can help in this case. The experts are certainly correct, however, that the size of this crisis is likely to be comparable to the Great Depression.
JRJ：What are the advantages and disadvantages of anti-globalization?
Alan Deardorff：Advantages include: reduced costs due to specialization by comparative advantage and economies of scale; improved productivity and technology; and access to greater choice in both consumer and producer goods. All of these contribute to higher real incomes for consumers worldwide.
Disadvantages include: costs of unemployment and dislocation when trade changes (either up or down), and social systems are inadequate to assist those whose livelihoods are disrupted; vulnerability to sudden disruption of supplies or markets due to shocks like the virus, earthquakes, floods, etc.; exposure to pernicious policy changes targeted at vulnerable countries, such as trade sanctions and tariffs, export taxes and bans, etc.
JRJ：Many people are worried about that Coronavirus may promote anti-globalization. Is it possible from your perspective? And if it does happen, what should we do?
Alan Deardorff：I think they are right to worry. Before the virus, there were already signs that globalization was slowing if not stopping, and policy makers – especially Trump – were deliberately undermining it with their tariffs and other policies. The virus has prompted even some very pro-trade commentators to question the wisdom of such great reliance on foreign markets. Even if anti-globalization policies do not increase, I expect that both firms and consumers will rely somewhat less on other countries, and our measures of globalization will stay reduced even after the virus has (hopefully) retreated. Is this bad? I strongly believe that globalization has been overwhelmingly beneficial for the world in terms of standards of living, but some cost may be worth bearing in order to reduce our vulnerability.
JRJ：Any advice for the governments and people all around the world?
Alan Deardorff：My advice would be to respond to the virus and its economic effects in a much more careful and thoughtful manner than has been the case with trade policy for the last three years。 There may well be very good reasons for governments to guide how the world economy deals with and then recovers from the current crisis, but those reasons will not be found by those in power making uninformed choices based on their idiosyncratic gut feelings。