Keywords: right to health; World Trade Organization; international solidarity; export restrictions; public health.
In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health, more than 50 States have
introduced, since the beginning of the pandemic, restrictions on the export of personal protective
equipment (PPE). This contribution aims to assess the consistency of these measures with the
WTO legal framework and their compatibility with the needs for international solidarity and the
obligations to cooperate to the protection of the right to health, especially towards the developing
and least developed countries on which the distorting effects of the measures most dramatically reverberate.
To this end, the paper devotes special attention to the measures introduced by the European
Union – removed at the end of May 2020 – the effects of which it assesses ex post.