Freihandel oder Freifahrtschein für die Mächtigen?

Mit dem Beginn der Debatte über das Freihandelsabkommen mit der Dominikanischen Republik und den Ländern Zentralamerikas (DR-CAFTA) im Kongress der Vereinigten Staaten bahnt sich ein Kampf der Titanen zwischen den Kräften des Freihandels und des Protektionismus an. Die Wahrheit, die hinter diesem Vertrag steckt, darf dabei jedoch nicht von der Debatte in den Hintergrund gedrängt werden: Das DR-CAFTA ist eher ein Plädoyer für Sonderinteressen als ein Freihandelsabkommen. Es gelingt ihm gleichzeitig, die Einwohner sechs armer Länder zu übervorteilen und US-Arbeiter Gefahren auszusetzen.

Eine Ausweitung des Handels ist für die Förderung von Entwicklung und Demokratie gewiss sehr vielversprechend. Die im DR-CAFTA festgehaltenen Wettbewerbsregeln fördern jedoch den Profit einiger weniger auf Kosten des Wohlergehens vieler. Ironischerweise wird der Wettbewerb auf den Märkten in diesem Pakt sogar eingeschränkt, um mächtige Sonderinteressen zu schützen, und untergräbt so die Kernprinzipien des freien Handels.

So etwa bei pharmazeutischen Produkten. In diesem Abkommen wird die Zeitspanne ausgedehnt, innerhalb derer amerikanische Arzneimittelhersteller mit ihren Markenpräparaten exklusiven Zugang zum Markt haben, wodurch sich die Einführung von Generika verzögert und der Wettbewerb eingeschränkt wird. Für die Menschen in Zentralamerika werden die Arzneimittelkosten in die Höhe schnellen, Haushalte werden belastet und die Gesundheitsfürsorge ausgehöhlt. Das Ergebnis könnte für viele einem Todesurteil gleichkommen.

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