Sterben für den Freihandel

Das letzte Jahr war ein schlechtes Jahr für den Freihandel. Eigentlich hätte die Landwirtschaft zum zentralen Thema der Verhandlungen der Doha-Runde gemacht werden sollen, um die tiefe Frustration der Entwicklungsländer zu mildern. Aber statt dem Freihandel im Nahrungsmittelbereich wieder Leben einzuhauchen, hat der Agrarprotektionismus der Doha-Runde den Garaus gemacht – und damit möglicherweise dem gesamten multilateralen Handelsregime.

Da die Landwirtschaft der am stärksten verzerrte Bereich des Welthandels ist, war sie schon immer die größte Herausforderung für die Freihandelsdoktrin und deren Versprechen, der Stimme der Armen mehr Gewicht zu verleihen. Die OECD-Länder gaben im Jahr 2004 für die Subventionierung einheimischer Bauern vier Mal mehr aus als für ihre offiziellen Entwicklungshilfebudgets. Im Jahr 2000 schätzte die Weltbank, dass der Agrarprotektionismus der OECD den Entwicklungsländern jährlich 20 Milliarden Dollar an Wohlfahrtsverlusten bescherte. Das Ärgerlichste daran: Die Landwirtschaft ist nur ein kleiner, rückläufiger Teil der Ökonomien der Reichen und je reicher und größer die Volkswirtschaft, desto weniger Bedeutung kommt der Landwirtschaft zu und desto mehr Ressourcen werden für Sozialleistungen im Agrarbereich verschwendet.

Die praktische Herausforderung liegt in zwei Vorteilen der Landwirtschaft, die den Agrarsektor gegenüber globalen Marktkräften abschirmen und sogar die urbansten und liberalsten Politiker zu Verteidigern der Landwirtschaft machen. Erstens wird Landwirtschaft auf geographisch eingeschränktem Gebiet betrieben und die Stimmen der Landwirte gelten in erster Linie der Landwirtschaftspolitik, wodurch sich die Macht ihrer Stimmen enorm verstärkt – was bei den Verbrauern in den Städten – wenn überhaupt – nur in sehr geringen Ausmaß der Fall ist.

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