Implications of COVID-19 Pandemic for Australian Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

By Institute for Integrated Economic Research Australia

Submission to the Parliament of Australia, Joint Standing Committee Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Inquiry into the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for Australia’s foreign affairs, defence and trade, June 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed a global lack of resilience as a result of a collective failure to assess and act on national risks and vulnerabilities in the face of a rapidly changing world. We should not try to replicate the pre-COVID-19 Australia in the recovery.

We need to capitalise on the positive aspects of our response, such as the social solidarity and the Federal / State political collaboration displayed in Australia, and learn from the negative, such as the fragility and opaque nature of our supply chains and the lack of preparation in critical areas such as in our health infrastructure and parts of our economy.

We need to redesign critical components of our supply chains under what we are calling a ‘Smart Sovereignty’ model. The essential complement to Smart Sovereignty is the establishment of “Trusted Supply Chains.”