United States

Market overview

The United States has recorded over 6.8 million cases of COVID-19, currently the most of any country in the world.

All US states have begun to reopen to varying degrees. For a helpful resource from the US Chamber of Commerce that provides state by state business reopening guidance, see here.

Although the S&P has reached an all-time high, economic indicators are low. Unemployment has continued to escalate, with record numbers of people – more than 40 million - applying for unemployment benefits in the US.  

Along with the CARES Act (detailed below), Congress is also considering enacting a new infrastructure plan to create thousands of new jobs. CARES Act 2.0 is in development and expected to be released this summer.

For more information on doing business in the US, visit myNZTE - our free online portal for curated, in-depth information and guidance.    


There are currently no national-level travel restrictions in place. While domestic travel is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels, Americans are travelling again.

International travellers from some countries, including New Zealand, are allowed to enter the US. For a full list of travellers prohibited from entering the US, see this guide from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

New Zealand borders are not closed for outbound travel, but the recommendation is to not travel overseas at this time. It may also be very difficult to get travel insurance in the current climate, and businesses considering travel should check with their insurers. Consider viable alternatives to travel (such as videoconferencing).

On return to New Zealand, citizens and permanent residents should expect to comply to any quarantine and self-isolation measures that are in place. Currently this is a 14-day managed quarantine. Use the MFAT SafeTravel website for current updates for New Zealand travellers.


On Monday 22 June, US President Donald Trump signed Presidential Proclamation 10014, suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants and non-immigrants deemed to present a risk to the US labour market following the coronavirus outbreak.

Effective immediately, the proclamation extends the suspension of entry for certain immigrants through 31 December 2020. The new restrictions imposed by the proclamation are effective at 12:01 am EDT on Wednesday 24 June and expire on 31 December 2020, unless continued by the President.

US citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens who are or were inside the United States or those holding valid non-immigrant or immigrant visas on the effective date (24 June) are not subject to the proclamation.

The proclamation suspends entry of non-immigrants in the following categories: H-1B, H-2B, J (for aliens participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program) and L, along with their spouses and children. No valid visas will be revoked under the proclamation.

Under the changes, the E visa category will likely become more popular for New Zealand companies. Read more about this category on the US Embassy in New Zealand website here.

Further resources:

Sector insights

As is to be expected, numerous sectors have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you'll find information on COVID-19 effects across important sectors and industries in the United States.

Check in with your relevant industry associations to see what's happening on the ground in the USA. They are a good resource, well-resourced and often connected to lobbying efforts as well as their federal and state governments.

Also check in with trade shows that you have attended or that are relevant for your company. They can also be a great resource for potential networking and virtual event opportunities. Some are looking at developing virtual trade shows and developing other BD concepts, as well as sharing insights and content. For example, BIO 2020 created a virtual event format for their June 2020 programme.

For the latest advice on the North American retail industry and forecasting, listen to this podcast from research firm Kantar.


Betsy McGinn, NZTE North America Beachhead Advisor and e-commerce specialist, is providing insights and updates on e-commerce in the United States. Betsy works with consumer products companies of every size to dramatically build e-commerce revenue, implement best practices, and lead execution with Amazon and other key partners in North America.

Guides to selling through Amazon:

  • Download the 19 May update here

  • Download the 5 May update here

  • Download the 28 April update here

  • Download the 22 April update here

  • Download the 14 April update here

  • Download the 7 April update here

United States updates by topic

Government support
Supply chain, logistics and freight

On the ground: hearing from our team

Hear from NZTE's US team about what they are seeing and hearing on the ground, and what New Zealand exporters should consider when connecting with their US partners and customers.

Click below to view all previous video updates and more resources from our US team.

View all resources
Export support
Last updated: 17 Jun 2020
On the ground in the US: life in Los Angeles, 17 June

NZTE North America Regional Director, Amanda Martin, shares what a day in Los Angeles is like right now.

Watch now
Export support
Last updated: 13 May 2020
On the ground: grocery shopping in New York City, 6 May

NZTE New York team members Hannah Lee-Darboe and Kym Williams share what NYC grocery stores are really like right now. Filmed 6 May 2020.

Watch now
Export supportFunding your business
Last updated: 13 May 2020
On the ground in the US - investment in North America, May update

NZTE North America Investment, Manager Pranav Amin, shares the latest on-the-ground insights and advice for NZ exporters, in this update from 13 May.

Watch now
Export support
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
Video insights: on the ground in the US - business update & resources

NZTE North America Business Development Manager Scott Wentworth shares a brief update on the situation for business in the US...

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Export support
Last updated: 19 Apr 2020
Video insights: on the ground in the US – the economy & the CARES Act

NZTE North America Business Development Manager John Lacey shares the latest on-the-ground insights on economic climate...

Watch now
Export support
Last updated: 7 Apr 2020
Video insights: on the ground in the US - advice for F&B exporters

NZTE North America Business Development Manager Brona Cosgrave shares the latest on-the-ground insights and advice for NZ F&B...

Watch now

Additional resources

Below you can find information and contact details for other New Zealand government and international agencies regarding their response to COVID-19.

New Zealand Government agencies

COVID-19 helpline for businesses
New Zealand Customs
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
New Zealand Export Credit (NZEC)
MFAT Export Helpline
MFAT Safetravel
Callaghan Innovation
Ministry of Health
WorkSafe New Zealand

Global agencies

World Health Organization (WHO)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Contact NZTE

We're available to talk to you about any issues your export business is facing due to COVID-19.

For existing NZTE customers, please contact your New Zealand-based Customer Manager.

If you're unsure who to contact or haven't worked with us before, you can call NZTE on 0800 555 888 or email below and one of our Customer Advisors will help you.