La profundización del TLCAN

Las buenas noticias sobre el TLCAN son que hay pocas noticias sobre el TLCAN. Esa calma, tan distinta a las protestas que se dieron hace una década cuando surgió el Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, reflejan los evidentes logros de ese instrumento para facilitar e integrar el intercambio económico entre sus tres socios. El encuentro que sostendrán la próxima semana los presidentes de México y de Estados Unidos debe aprovechar este éxito para impulsar al TLCAN en formas creativas y novedosas.

Afortunadamente existe un mapa para guiar el camnio del TLCAN. Cuando el entonces presidente electo de México, Vicente Fox, viajó a Estados Unidos y Canadá en el otoño del 2000, llevaba una propuesta audaz: después de ocho años, era tiempo para que Canadá, los EU y México fijaran una meta de más largo plazo consistente en crear una Comunidad de América del Norte. Aunque esta poco ortodoxa sugerencia fue recibida con esceptisismo, las ideas de Fox establecieron una agenda a la que los tres socios del TLCAN deben de dar seguimiento.

¿Por qué reparar algo que no está descompuesto? Porque, desde la perspectiva mexicana, el TLCAN todavía no alcanza una de sus metas centrales: llevar los beneficios del libre comercio a todas las regiones y sectores del país. Para que el TLCAN logre todo su potencial y pueda avanzar en los procesos de convergencia, no es suficiente abrir las fronteras al comercio y reducir las barreras arancelarias.

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