Vuelven las quejas sobre el renminbi

NEW HAVEN – La divisa de China, el renminbi, ha estado debilitándose en los últimos meses, con lo que han vuelto a oírse las acusaciones de manipulación, devaluación competitiva y mercantilismo encaminado a empobrecer al vecino. A mediados de abril, el Tesoro de los Estados Unidos expresó una “preocupación particularmente grave” al respecto, lo que subraya una de las cuestiones de política económica más polémicas entre los Estados Unidos y China.

Se trata de un debate ya vetusto, de inspiración política y basado en una concepción económica deficiente, que perjudica gravemente a las dos partes al distraer la atención de cuestiones mucho más importantes para la relación económica entre los EE.UU. y China. Llevadas hasta el extremo, las acusaciones de los Estados Unidos podrían empujar a las dos mayores economías del mundo cuesta abajo por una pronunciada pendiente de fricciones comerciales y proteccionismo o algo aún peor.

En primer lugar, los datos: desde que alcanzó su nivel más alto el 14 de enero de 2014, el renminbi se ha depreciado en un 3,4 por ciento frente al dólar de los EE.UU. hasta el 25 de abril, después de una apreciación acumulativa del 37 por ciento desde el 21 de julio de 2005, cuando China abandonó su vinculación con el dólar y cambió su régimen cambiario por una denominada “flotación regulada.” Respecto del nivel con el que comenzó hace casi nueve años, la apreciación del renminbi sigue siendo del 32,5 por ciento.

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