Mitos proteccionistas

NUEVA YORK – En un debate celebrado el año pasado en Nueva York y titulado “Las políticas que propugnan la compra en exclusiva de productos americanos y la contratación a personal americano darán resultados opuestos a lo deseados”, con centenares de asistentes, mi equipo de tres partidarios del libre comercio se enfrentó a un trío de proteccionistas, que aparecen con frecuencia en público. Esperábamos perder por 55 por ciento a 45 por ciento en la votación final del auditorio. Resultó que les dimos una buena paliza, al vencer por un margen sin precedentes de 80 por ciento a 20 por ciento. Varios votantes comentaron que habíamos ganado de calle porque teníamos los “argumentos y las pruebas”, mientras que nuestros oponentes tenían “afirmaciones e invectivas”.

Evidentemente, el pesimismo y la desesperación que con frecuencia abruman a los partidarios del libre comercio en la actualidad no está justificado. Los argumentos de los proteccionistas, nuevos y viejos, son simples mitos que se pueden impugnar con éxito. Veamos algunos de los ejemplos más garrafales.

Mito 1: “El costo de la protección y su contrario, los beneficios resultantes del comercio, son insignificantes”.

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