Paul Lachine

Die bilaterale Bedrohung des freien Handels

ISTANBUL – Die Doha-Runde über globale Handelsbeziehungen scheint dieses Jahr beinahe sang- und klanglos untergegangen zu sein. Auch wenn ein kleiner Teil des Projekts überlebt hat, ist dies in der Geschichte der multilateralen Handelsvereinbarungen, die die Weltwirtschaft seit dem zweiten Weltkrieg verwandelt haben, ein nie dagewesener Fehlschlag.

Einige der sieben vorherigen Verhandlungsrunden – darunter die Uruguay-Runde, die 1995 zur Gründung der Welthandelsorganisation (WHO) als Nachfolgerin des allgemeinen Zoll- und Handelsabkommens (GATT) führte – benötigten Jahre für ihren Abschluss, aber keine von ihnen starb aufgrund von Vernachlässigung oder Desinteresse. Die heutige Indifferenz ist insbesondere bei den Vereinigten Staaten sichtbar, aber nicht ausschließlich. Präsident Barack Obama hüllte sich in der Kampagne zu seiner Wiederwahl zum Thema in Schweigen, nachdem er schon in seiner ersten Kampagne kaum etwas dazu gesagt hatte. Die Frage ist, ob in manchen Hauptstädten eigentlich verstanden wird, was auf dem Spiel steht.

Erfolgreiche multilaterale Handelsgespräche haben die Welt, in der wir leben, entscheidend geprägt und das Leben von Millionen Menschen dramatisch verbessert. Zwischen 1960 und 1990 lebte nur eine von fünf Personen in einer wirtschaftlich offenen Gesellschaft. Heute sind es neun von zehn.

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