The Covid-19 crisis has not only spread deadly pathogens across the world, it has also spawned a rash of new socioeconomic trends. Some of these may make the world a better place once the virus has run its course, but many could make things worse.If there is an emerging consensus, it’s that in the aftermath of Covid-19 many countries will shorten their supply chains to reduce their dependence on others for key inputs, especially China.At its most extreme, this could result in a retreat into isolationism and economic self-reliance, in which case free-trade agreements and multilateral institutions would be the first casualties.The US was already some way down this road before the virus struck, and President Donald Trump’s administration now seems thoroughly convinced that, in a dog-eat-dog world, it is each country for itself."One of the things this crisis has taught us is that we are dangerously overdependent on a global supply chain for our medicines, like penicillin; our medical su...

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