Vorsicht vor verwundeten Löwen

CAMBRIDGE – G-20-Politiker, die über den Vorschlag der Vereinigten Staaten spotten, bezifferbare Grenzwerte für Handelsbilanzen einzuführen, sollten sich darüber im Klaren sein, dass sie mit dem Feuer spielen. Die USA stellen weniger eine Forderung, als dass sie um Hilfe bitten.

Laut einem neueren gemeinsamen Bericht des Internationalen Währungsfonds und der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation entfallen ganze 25 % des Anstiegs der Arbeitslosigkeit seit 2007, weltweit insgesamt 30 Millionen Menschen, auf die USA. Wenn diese Situation so lange andauert, wie sie es nach meinen Befürchtungen tun könnte, wird dies den Grundstein für gewaltige globale Handelsspannungen legen. Die Wut der Wähler, die bei den US-Zwischenwahlen zum Ausdruck kam, könnte nur die Spitze des Eisbergs sein.

Protektionistische Handelsmaßnahmen, vielleicht in Form eines heftigen US-Zolls auf chinesische Importe, wären äußerst selbstzerstörerisch, selbst ohne die unausweichlichen Vergeltungsmaßnahmen. Doch sollte man sich nicht täuschen: Der Boden für populistische Wirtschaftsentscheidungen wird täglich fruchtbarer.

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