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Wunderbarer Freihandel

PRAG – Der globale Freihandel bietet die größte Chance, das Gemeinwohl in den nächsten anderthalb Jahrzehnten zu steigern. Er hat bereits dazu beigetragen, während des vergangenen Vierteljahrhunderts mehr als eine Milliarde Menschen aus der Armut zu heben. Eine weitere Senkung der Handelsbarrieren könnte die Durchschnittseinkommen in den ärmsten Teilen der Welt in den nächsten 15 Jahren mehr als verdoppeln.

Zwar ist der Freihandel durchaus mit Kosten verbunden, denen es besser zu begegnen gilt, doch der Nutzen überwiegt diese Kosten deutlich. Doch hat sich in den reichen Ländern die Stimmung heute gegen den Freihandel gewendet. Dies ist eine Tragödie.

Nirgendwo ist der Widerstand gegen den Freihandel lauter als in den USA. Egal, wer im kommenden Monat die Präsidentschaftswahl gewinnt: Im Weißen Haus wird dann ein Freihandelsskeptiker sitzen. Sowohl Hillary Clinton als auch Donald Trump sind Gegner der größten von Präsident Barack Obamas Regierung eingeleiteten Handelsinitiative – der Trans-Pazifischen Partnerschaft (TPP) mit elf weiteren Pazifik-Anrainerstaaten –, und beide streben Änderungen beim Nordamerikanischen Freihandelsabkommen (NAFTA) an, das seit 1994 in Kraft ist.

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