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No es momento de fundamentalismo comercial

CAMBRIDGE – "Uno de los desafíos cruciales" de nuestra era "es mantener un sistema comercial internacional abierto y en expansión". Desafortunadamente, "los principios liberales" del sistema comercial mundial "están bajo un creciente ataque". "El proteccionismo se ha vuelto cada vez más prevaleciente". "Existe un gran peligro de que el sistema se quiebre… o de que colapse en una repetición sombría de los años 1930".

Estarían disculpados si pensaran que estas frases fueron tomadas de una de las recientes expresiones de preocupación en los medios económicos y financieros sobre la actual aversión a la globalización. En verdad, fueron escritas hace 35 años, en 1981.

El problema entonces era la estanflación en los países avanzados y el cuco comercial era Japón, más que China, que estaba al acecho -y se apropiaba- de los mercados globales. Estados Unidos y Europa habían respondido erigiendo barreras comerciales e imponiendo "restricciones voluntarias a la exportación" (RVE) sobre los autos y el acero japoneses. Era muy común hablar del "nuevo proteccionismo" en aumento.

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