Tim Brinton

Comercio internacional: quien mucho abarca…

SEÚL – Dicen que quien mucho abarca, poco aprieta o que si persigues dos conejos a la vez, ambos escaparán. Sin embargo, esto es exactamente lo que se exige a muchos gobiernos: perseguir tanto al crecimiento como a la justicia distributiva. Ambos objetivos, aunque no son incompatibles, son completamente distintos entre sí, y pocos instrumentos de política pueden ayudar a lograr ambos simultáneamente.

Esta idea es muy importante para la política comercial. Un gran volumen de investigación teórica y empírica demuestra que abrir el comercio puede estimular el crecimiento del PBI de un país. Pero aumentar el tamaño de la torta no garantiza que se repartirá justamente.

A menudo el crecimiento incremental que resulta de la apertura comercial se distribuye en forma despareja; incluso, en muchos casos, algunos reciben menos que antes. En estas situaciones es cuando el gobierno debe intervenir utilizando sus herramientas tradicionales: impuestos y redistribución, así como políticas complementarias como redes de seguridad social y asistencia para el ajuste.

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