Germany economy Joern Pollex/Getty Images

El arte del superávit

BERLÍN – Aunque el alto y persistente superávit de cuenta corriente de Alemania no figure en la agenda oficial de la cumbre del G20 que se celebra esta semana en Hamburgo, es seguro que provocará tensiones entre los líderes allí reunidos. Dicho superávit es desde hace tiempo fuente de disputas con muchos de los socios comerciales de Alemania, y el año pasado llegó a la cifra récord del 8,3% del PIB nominal (de la que la mayor parte corresponde al comercio con Estados Unidos).

Es indudable que diversas medidas que beneficiarían a la economía alemana traerían aparejada una reducción del superávit de cuenta corriente. Pero introducir esos ajustes sólo tiene sentido cuando han sido fríamente razonados (y por líderes que aceptan la naturaleza mutuamente ventajosa del comercio internacional, dan tiempo a los ajustes económicos y rechazan la creencia ilusoria de que la economía es algo así como una empresa grande).

El comercio internacional no es un juego de suma cero. Un déficit de cuenta corriente no es señal indiscutible de un “mal negocio”, así como un superávit no es necesariamente causa de celebración. En vez de eso, ambas situaciones son los resultados de una infinidad de acuerdos privados en los que las partes involucradas esperan obtener beneficios.

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