United States

Market overview

The United States recorded 1.24 million cases of COVID-19 as of 6 May, currently the most of any country in the world.

Many states are acting to contain viral spread through 'state shutdowns' or mass closures of businesses and orders to stay inside the home. For a helpful resource from the US Chamber of Commerce that provides state by state business reopening guidance, see here.

With no national-level restrictions in place, Americans can still legally travel from one area to another, but domestic air travel has almost entirely halted because of efforts to socially distance and contain the outbreak.

The S&P is in a slump, with stocks down more than 20 percent this year, and March 2020 representing the worst month for stocks since 2008. The stock market has slightly rebounded but is experiencing extreme volatility day to day. Economic indicators are low, and unemployment has continued to escalate, with 30 million people 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.


Visit the US Embassy to New Zealand website for more information on visas and travelling to the United States of America during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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 has 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.

E-commerce: selling through Amazon

Betsy McGinn, NZTE North America Beachhead Advisor and e-commerce specialist, is providing weekly updates focusing on insights and updates on selling through Amazon USA. Betsey 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.

  • 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: 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.

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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...

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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.