Comercio transatlántico para todos

WASHINGTON, DC – Las negociaciones para crear una Asociación Transatlántica de Comercio e Inversión (TTIP por su sigla en inglés) entre la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos están siendo muy bien recibidas. El primer ministro británico, David Cameron, ha dicho que esta asociación es "un premio que se da una vez en una generación", e hizo referencia a las potenciales ganancias de 80.000 millones de libras (125.500 millones de dólares) tanto para la UE como para Estados Unidos, y 85.000 millones de libras para el resto del mundo.

Para un mundo cansado de esperar que culmine de una vez la interminable ronda de negociaciones de Doha de la Organización Mundial de Comercio, hasta una iniciativa de comercio bilateral puede parecer una bendición, sobre todo, como señaló recientemente un editorial del Financial Times, cuando "bilateral" abarca a la mitad de la economía mundial. Pero existe una desventaja importante: el acuerdo podría afectar a los exportadores de los países en desarrollo, a menos que la UE y Estados Unidos hicieran un esfuerzo concertado para proteger los intereses de esos protagonistas.

La característica del pacto propuesto que genera mayor entusiasmo -su foco en las barreras regulatorias como estándares de productos obligatorios- en realidad es la que debería incitar la mayor preocupación. Dados los bajos aranceles en la UE y Estados Unidos -menos del 5% en promedio-, mayores reducciones preferenciales no van a perjudicar seriamente a los de afuera. Pero, cuando se trata de estándares –como los que rigen la seguridad, la salud y el medio ambiente-, los requerimientos de acceso al mercado son brutales y binarios: o alguien cumple con el estándar establecido o no vende.

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