¿Es el fin de la globalización?

BRUSELAS – China recientemente anunció que el año pasado, por primera vez desde que se inició la apertura de su economía al mundo a finales de la década de 1970, sus exportaciones, contabilizadas en una base anualizada, disminuyeron. Y, eso no es todo, en términos de valor, durante el año 2015 el comercio mundial se redujo. La pregunta obvia es por qué ocurrió esto.

Si bien el comercio mundial también se redujo durante el año 2009, la explicación fue obvia: el mundo estaba experimentando, en aquel entonces, una fuerte contracción del PIB. El año pasado, sin embargo, la economía mundial creció un respetable 3%. Además, las barreras comerciales no han aumentado significativamente en ningún lugar del planeta, y los costos de transporte están disminuyendo, debido a la fuerte caída de los precios del petróleo.

Es revelador que el llamado Índice Baltic Dry, que mide el costo de flete de los grandes barcos que transportan la mayor parte del comercio a larga distancia, ha caído a un nivel mínimo histórico. Esto indica que los mercados no esperan una próxima recuperación, lo que significa que los datos de 2015 podrían ser un presagio de una nueva era de desaceleración del comercio. La conclusión obvia es que las fuerzas de la globalización, que en algún momento fueron incontrarrestables, están perdiendo su impulso.

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