Agricultural Policy Review: Volume 2020, Issue 2
The covid-19 pandemic has forced a lot of changes in the six months since the previous issue of Agricultural Policy Review—schools shuttered, businesses closed, physical distancing and stay-at-home orders were put in place, and the economy severely contracted and jobs were lost.
It has been almost two years since China first reported an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF). As of June 5, 2020, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) had reported more than 177 ASF outbreaks, which resulted in an almost 32% reduction in hog and sow inventories since November 2018. These reductions—103 million pigs and 8.7 million sows—account for more than one-fifth of the world’s hog inventory (figure 1).
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economic activity and resulted in historic unemployment levels (BLS 2020). However, the severity of employment losses varies across industries and geographic areas (Cho, Lee, and Winters 2020). While the economic situation is still evolving quickly, it is important to understand where the job losses are most and least concentrated. To do so, we first examine differences in employment losses between rural and urban areas in the United States, and then we examine differences across regions of the United States.
In 1992, the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act granted Hong Kong status as a separate customs territory. On June 29, 2020, however, the US Department of Commerce withdrew that status due to recent tensions between China and the United States and concerns about Hong Kong’s degree of autonomy from mainland China (Stevenson 2020).
The national closing of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened awareness of the digital divide in access to reliable internet use. Remote access to online schooling requires broadband internet service, which the Federal Communication Commission defines as service with download speeds of at least 25 megabits/second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 3Mbps.