Attention au lion blessé

CAMBRIDGE – Les dirigeants du G20 qui raillent la proposition américaine visant à fixer des limites chiffrées aux déséquilibres commerciaux jouent avec le feu. Ce n'est pas tant une proposition que lancent les USA, qu'un appel à l'aide.

Selon un récent rapport conjoint du Fonds monétaire international et de l'Organisation internationale du travail, le quart de la hausse du chômage enregistrée depuis 2007 (30 millions de personnes à travers le monde) a eu lieu aux USA. J'ai prévenu il y a longtemps que cette situation pouvait se prolonger. Si c'est le cas, cela pourrait entraîner d'énormes tensions au sein du commerce mondial. La colère des électeurs exprimée lors des élections de mi-mandat aux USA pourrait alors n'être que la partie émergeante de l'iceberg.

Des mesures protectionnistes, par exemple sous la forme de taxes douanières élevées sur les importations chinoises, seraient profondément autodestructrices, même sans tenir compte des inévitables mesures de rétorsion qui suivraient. Ne nous trompons pas : chaques jour qui passe, la situation est davantage propice à des mesures économiques populistes.

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