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              Researh Sevice

COVID-19 International Responses:

Resources for Comparison with U.S. Policies

August 14,2020
This Insight presents selected resources and CRS products that may be useful for Congress as it compares
U.S. responses to the Coronavirus Dis ease 2019 (COVID- 19) pandemic with other countries' responses.

COVID-19 emerged in China in late 2019 and has since spread around the globe, infecting millions and
leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Since it emerged, the pandemic epicenter has shifted from
China to several countries in Europe and then across the western hemisphere, including Brazil and the
United States. In addition to the high counts of illness and death, COVID-19 has prompted a global
economic recession with varying impacts on countries worldwide, according to the World Bank and the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The U.S. economy, as measured by
gross domestic product, contracted at an annual rate of 32.9%o in the second quarter of 2020. In the United
States, unemployment also became widespread, with close to 18 million jobless (11.1% of workers) and
more than 30 million Ainericans receiving unemployment benefits as of July 30, 2020.
Congress has responded to the COVID- 19 pandemic and economic fallout with three broad emergency
supplemental legislative assistance packages:
       SP.L. 116-123, Coronavirus Preparedness and Response SupplementalAppropriations Act,
       2020, March 6, 2020;
    *  P.L. 116-127, Families First Coronavirus ResponseAct, Families First Coronavirus
       ResponseAct, March 18, 2020; and
    *  P.L. 116-136, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, March 27,
OnApril 24, 2020, Congress also enacted P.L. 116-139, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health
Care Enhancement Act, which created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP was designed to
provide for loans, guaranteed by the Small Business Association, to small businesses, nonprofit
organizations, and veterans' organizations.
Two additional laws concerning the PPP were later enacted. In June 2020, P. L. 116-142 extended the PPP
loan forgiveness period. P.L. 116-147, enacted in July 2020, extended the authority for commitments for
the PPP, extended the PPP's covered loan period, and authorized $659 billion for PPP loan commitments
and $30 billion for 7(a) ioan commitments.
                                                             Congressional Research Service
                                                                                 INI 1481

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