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Non c’è spazio per il fondamentalismo commerciale

CAMBRIDGE – “Una delle sfide cruciali” della nostra epoca “è mantenere in vita un sistema commerciale internazionale aperto e in continua espansione”. Purtroppo, “i principi liberali” del sistema commerciale internazionale “sono sempre più sotto attacco”, “oggigiorno c’è una crescente tendenza al protezionismo” ed “esiste un forte rischio che il sistema possa deteriorarsi… o degenerare in una triste replica degli anni trenta del secolo scorso”.

Se pensate che queste parole siano tratte da uno degli articoli di sfogo apparsi di recente sui media economici e finanziari a proposito dell’attuale reazione antiglobalizzazione, sarete perdonati. In realtà, sono state scritte trentacinque anni fa, precisamente nel 1981.

All’epoca, il problema riguardava la stagflazione nei paesi avanzati, ed era il Giappone, non la Cina, lo spauracchio commerciale che incombeva sui mercati globali facendola da padrone. Gli Stati Uniti e l’Europa avevano reagito innalzando barriere commerciali e imponendo le cosiddette “restrizioni volontarie delle esportazioni” (VER) sulle automobili e l’acciaio giapponesi. Parlare dell’insidiosa avanzata di un “nuovo protezionismo” era diventato uno sport diffuso.

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