Freihandel für immer

NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA – Am 7. Dezember haben sich die Repräsentanten der 159 Mitgliedsländer der Welthandelsorganisation auf das erste multilaterale Handelsabkommen in der 19-jährigen Geschichte der WHO geeinigt. Obwohl das Abkommen zur Handelserleichterung – nach der indonesischen Insel, auf der das Treffen stattfand, auch „Bali-Paket“ genannt – die drängendsten Nord-Süd-Handelsprobleme nicht löst, ist es doch ein wichtiger wirtschaftlicher und politischer Meilenstein.

Das Bali-Paket verpflichtet die Mitglieder der WHO zum Abbau zollfremder Handelsbarrieren – beispielsweise durch die Einführung transparenterer Einfuhrvorschriften und die Verringerung handelsbezogener Bürokratie. Diese Änderungen mögen wie bürokratischer Kleinkram erscheinen, aber die Auswirkungen der Vereinbarung – Erhöhung der globalen Produktion um eine Billion USD und Schaffung von 21 Millionen neuen Arbeitsplätzen weltweit – werden bedeutend sein.

Das Abkommen wurde dafür kritisiert, dass es die Ziele der Doha-Entwicklungsagenda der WHO von 2001 nicht erfüllt. Aber diese Ziele – wie die Verbesserung des Marktzugangs in Landwirtschaft, Produktion und Dienstleistungen, Klärung internationaler Handelsregelungen und Fortschritte bei der Lösung relevanter Umweltprobleme – waren zu ehrgeizig. Sogar das bescheidene Bali-Paket konnte, nach einem zusätzlichen Verhandlungstag zur Einigung über kontroverse Themen wie landwirtschaftliche Subventionen in Indien und das US-Embargo für Kuba, nur mit Mühe verabschiedet werden.

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