Covid-19

Coronavirus is bringing health threats to life and disruption to business and society on an unprecedented scale. Events are moving quickly and the timeline for the pandemic remains uncertain. With a team drawn from the worlds of public policy and business, Global Counsel have moved swiftly to support clients as they navigate this turbulent environment, what it means for their people, supply chains, and businesses processes. As governments develop their economic response to the pandemic, we are analysing policy developments around the globe and helping clients understand and influence them.

If you would like to learn more about our approach and how we are helping companies and investors respond to the challenges which the pandemic is posing please contact us here.

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Does big tech’s role in covid-19 prove it is a public utility?

TMT

Max von Thun
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Big tech is playing an outsized role in the covid-19 crisis, and its leading players are not shy in acknowledging it. Last week, responding to a legal ruling limiting its activities due to safety concerns in its warehouses, one of Amazon’s lawyers told a French court that the company is “extremely necessary for the continuity of the nation’s life; it brings essential…

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US policy update: Trump’s exit strategy, the elections and the future of US healthcare

General Policy

Joe Palombo
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This US election cycle, GC team members in the Washington, DC and London offices are holding a series of conversations on the elections and wider US policy issues, and how each might impact investors and companies on both sides of the Atlantic. Below is a brief extract from the fifth conversation in the series, which explored Trump’s exit strategy and the implications for…

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Alitalia bailout brings big choices for Italy

Trade & Manufacturing

Giuseppe Costanzo
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The covid-19 crisis has been difficult for the aviation sector, forcing airlines to cancel flights, lay off staff and ground their fleets. With the medium-term trajectory for passenger demand also far less certain, European airlines are poised to be the most prominent recipients of government support to businesses. Meanwhile, calls for funds to include conditionalities…

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General Politics

Covid-19: three ASEAN governments on the political brink

General Politics

Brigitta Kinadi
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Like other governments around the world, the immediate priority of Southeast Asian governments is to minimise the health and economic impact of the covid-19 outbreak. However, the challenge of managing the pandemic has seriously destabilised some governments in the region, many of whom were already in a precarious position before the crisis. The region that emerges after…

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Earth Day: Making history or winding back the clock?

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Oil is at its lowest price in history. Deaths today from covid-19 topped 175,000 worldwide. It is certainly an historic day.

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Covid and consumption abroad: a Mode 2 crisis

Trade & Manufacturing

Stephen Adams
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One of the first things services trade specialists learn is that trade in services is not like trade in goods. One of the most fundamental ways in which it is different is that the consumer and supplier of an internationally traded service are often physically in the same market. It is their economic nationality that matters, not their location on different sides of a…

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The politics behind investment screening in the post-covid EU

Trade & Manufacturing

Alessandro Gangarossa
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One year after the EU adopted its first framework on foreign investment screening, the covid-19 crisis is prompting EU capitals to tighten their investment screening mechanisms in material ways. In many cases, these changes are an acceleration of an existing trend rather than genuine emergency measures – and as such may point towards a structural rather than a temporary…

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Covid-19 and the global value chain model

Trade & Manufacturing

Peter Mandelson
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Simplification and diversification. Regionalisation and repatriation. These have emerged as key buzzwords in trade and industrial policy when it comes to supply chain organisation in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. As governments worldwide grapple with the challenges of securing sufficient supply of products necessary to fight covid-19 – including personal protective…

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General Politics

Populism in a crisis: how is covid-19 impacting Poland and Hungary’s relationship with the EU?

General Politics

Frederick Michell
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Despite the EU’s best efforts, the controversial political agendas of Poland and Hungary have seemed unstoppable, until now. Recent covid-19 outbreaks are forcing both countries to redirect their time and budget away from their long-term Eurosceptic political plans and towards tackling the health crisis. But is either government actually delaying their populist agendas,…

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General Politics

Ways to engage: EU public consultations

General Politics

Conan D'Arcy
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With the onset of covid-19 and the lockdowns across Europe, it might feel like policymakers are out of reach. However, there are currently a number of public consultations which companies can respond to, providing formal feedback to the various policy proposal that have been put forward by the European Institutions. Practice Lead, Conan D'Arcy, Practice Lead Ermenegilda…

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Europe’s rapprochement with Big Tech – too good to be true?

TMT

Conan D'Arcy
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“It’s the first time tech companies act in such a strong way. They reacted immediately, and made very important, practically spontaneous, decisions. The crisis will without doubt accelerate this.” This intervention from Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, marks a major change in tone from the European Commission which has spent the past five years locked…

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US policy update: US business support measures and election update

General Policy

Joe Palombo
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This US election cycle, GC team members in the Washington, DC and London offices are holding a series of conversations on the elections and wider US policy issues, and how each might impact investors and companies on both sides of the Atlantic. Below is a brief extract from the fourth conversation in the series, which began by analysing the $2.2tr stimulus package signed…

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Seven lockdowns

General Policy

Benjamin Wegg-Prosser
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Along with many of our clients, family and friends, GC staff have found themselves under varying levels of quarantine this week, in some cases far from home. Here some of the team consider the covid-19 politics and policies playing out around them.

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Asia policymaker perspectives: covid-19 and a Singaporean response

General Policy

Andrew Yeo
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In a new series of interviews, members of Global Counsel's Asia team will interview thought-leaders in policy and business from across the region, focusing on key themes for Global Counsel including geopolitics, trade and technological developments and the impact on business and politics.

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Will CFIUS stand by as US trophy assets come up for sale?

Financial Services

Erin Caddell
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Like many government institutions, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) normally goes about its business in relative obscurity, tasked in its case with reviewing proposed investments by foreign entities in US assets important to national security. Chaired by the US Treasury Department, CFIUS is comprised of representatives of other federal…

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Covid-19 and the gig economy: watershed moment or flash in the pan?

TMT

Max von Thun
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The accelerating spread of Covid-19 in the UK has raised concerns around the vulnerability of self-employed workers in the gig economy, who among other entitlements lack the statutory sick pay available to employees. If suspected of having the virus, many will be forced to choose between losing pay by self-isolating themselves or continuing to work while ill – putting…

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Maybe drug prices should be high: covid-19 scrambles the DC debate over Big Pharma

General Policy

Erin Caddell
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President Trump and his two remaining rivals for the White House do not agree on much. But even these bitter political opponents concur that US drug prices are just too darn high.

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General Politics

Covid-19: how to assess the economic and business impact

General Politics

Gregor Irwin
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There are three main channels through which coronavirus will impact on economies: disruption, threats to resilience and confidence. Disruption may mean that some markets do not function normally and require quantity rationing, creating unfamiliar dilemmas for businesses and governments. Threats to resilience may be compounded as businesses seek to protect themselves from…

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