Protectionnisme fabriqué aux Etats-Unis

L'imposition par l'Amérique de tarifs douaniers sur l'acier importé a été accueillie par des hurlements de protestation partout dans le monde. Mais les mots durs n'ont pas été suivis d'une puissante contre-attaque. Il est maintenant temps d'affronter l'hypocrisie de l'Amérique, non de fulminer.

La crise financière mondiale de 1997/1998 - mal gérée par le FMI, en grande partie sous la direction du ministère des Finances américain - a entraîné une augmentation du flot d'importations d'acier. Mais ceci fait partie du processus d'ajustement du marché autrefois claironné si bruyamment par les Etats-Unis.

Il est peu probable que l'argument avancé par les Etats-Unis, à savoir qu'ils étaient autorisés à se protéger contre une poussée des importations - grâce à des mesures de précaution rentrant dans le cadre de l'OMC - soit accepté par une commission de l'OMC lors de sa prochaine réunion, mais l'argument en lui-même est peu sincère. L'Europe a poussé à la restructuration de son industrie sidérurgique dans les années 1980 et au début des années 1990 et a le plus souvent réussi. En Amérique, beaucoup de nouvelles entreprises efficaces (mini-aciéries) ont en effet été créées, mais les géants maladroits d'autrefois se sont tenus tranquilles. Ils ne pouvaient pas rivaliser avec des aciéries efficaces implantées ailleurs - y compris (un comble) l'aciérie d'état de la Corée.

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