Wie man Antiprotektionismus verkauft

STOCKHOLM – Die sich abzeichnende globale Rezession hat staatliche Eingriffe zur Rettung insolventer Unternehmen ganz oben auf die wirtschaftspolitische Tagesordnung gesetzt. In einer Rede kurz vor dem jüngsten G-20-Gipfel warnte der britische Premierminister Gordon Brown den designierten Präsidenten Barack Obama davor, die drei großen strauchelnden amerikanischen Autobauer zu retten und argumentierte, der globale Wettbewerb habe ihren Niedergang unwiderruflich gemacht. Ein Rettungsplan würde das Unausweichliche daher nur verzögern, mit gewaltigen Kosten für die Steuerzahler.

Ein derartiger Ratschlag lässt sich immer schwer verkaufen – umso mehr angesichts der schlechtesten Wirtschaftsperspektive seit 70 Jahren. Schließlich verlagert der globale Wettbewerb nach allgemeiner Auffassung Arbeitsplätze in Billiglohnländer und drückt die Löhne an allen anderen Orten. Während die Globalisierung intensiver wird und den wirtschaftlichen Wandel beschleunigt, beeinflusst sie das Leben der einfachen Bürger wie nie zuvor und schürt dadurch die Angst im Volk. Es ist daher wenig verwunderlich, dass der französische Präsident Nicolas Sarkozy im Wahlkampf letztes Jahr dem Reiz des Protektionismus erlegen ist, ebenso wie beide Präsidentschaftskandidaten in den Vereinigten Staaten.

Doch muss der Protektionismus nicht die einzige Alternative zur Angst vor dem globalen Wettbewerb sein. In den skandinavischen Ländern hat sich die ausländische Konkurrenz genau wie in den USA im letzten Jahrzehnt stark intensiviert. China und Indien erreichten beträchtliche Wirtschaftskraft, und enge Nachbarn in zuvor isolierten kommunistischen Staaten wurden schnell in die europäische Ökonomie integriert.

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