Die nächsten Handelsdurchbrüche

STANFORD – Die Wirtschaftsnachrichten sind momentan auf der ganzen Welt düster. Das diesjährige Wachstum war enttäuschend, und der Internationale Währungsfonds erwartet nur eine geringe Verbesserung für 2015. Europa könnte sogar in die Rezession zurückfallen, selbst die einst robuste deutsche Wirtschaft steht auf der Kippe. Das chinesische Wachstum geht zurück, Brasilien, Russland und Indien kämpfen gegen den Stillstand an.

In diesem Zusammenhang ist es sehr bedauerlich, dass drei wichtige Chancen für Wachstum durch Freihandel verpasst werden: die Doha-Entwicklungsrunde der Welthandelsorganisation, die Transpazifische Partnerschaft (TPP) für die Region Asien-Pazifik und die Transatlantische Handels- und Investitionspartnerschaft (TTIP) zwischen den USA und Europa werden weitgehend ignoriert. Wenn sie vernünftig ausgelegt werden, haben alle drei das Potenzial, globales Wachstum anzukurbeln. Durch die Reduzierung von Zöllen und anderen Handelsbarrieren, den Schutz von geistigem Eigentum und die Harmonisierung von Regularien könnte eine Produktionssteigerung von Hunderten Milliarden Dollar - und Millionen von besser bezahlten Arbeitsplätzen - geschaffen werden.

Dies ist die Lektion des Nordatlantischen Freihandelsabkommens (NAFTA), das in diesem Jahr sein 20. Jubiläum feiert. In dem Buch NAFTA at 20, das ich herausgegeben habe, erläutern Politiker und Wissenschaftler, inwieweit dieses wichtige Handelsabkommen exemplarisch für die Vorteile des freien Handels steht - und warum Politiker sich dafür einsetzen sollten.

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