Cuidado con los leones heridos

CAMBRIDGE – Los dirigentes del G-20 que se burlan de la propuesta de los Estados Unidos de poner límites numéricos a las balanzas comerciales deberían saber que están jugando con fuego. Más que una exigencia, los Estados Unidos están expresando una súplica de ayuda.

Según un reciente informe conjunto del Fondo Monetario Internacional y la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, el 25 por ciento del aumento del desempleo desde 2007, que asciende a 30 millones de personas a escala mundial, se ha producido en los EE.UU. Si persiste esa situación, como llevo mucho tiempo advirtiendo que podría ocurrir, pondrá los cimientos para unas enormes fricciones comerciales mundiales. La irritación de los votantes expresada en las elecciones de mitad de período de los EE.UU. podría resultar ser sólo la punta del iceberg.

Unas medidas comerciales proteccionistas –tal vez en forma de un riguroso arancel aduanero en los EE.UU.– a las importaciones chinas, serían profundamente destructivas, aun cuando no se adoptaran las inevitables medidas de represalia, pero que nadie se engañe: el terreno para la economía populista está volviéndose cada día más fértil.

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