Paul Lachine

La amenaza bilateral al libre comercio

ESTAMBUL – La Ronda de Doha de las negociaciones comerciales mundiales parece haber muerto este año, casi sin un gemido. Si bien se puede salvar una pequeña parte del proyecto, la realidad esencial es la de que se trata de un fracaso sin parangón en la historia de las negociaciones comerciales multilaterales, que han transformado la economía mundial desde la segunda guerra mundial.

Muchas de las siete rondas de negociaciones anteriores –incluida la Ronda del Uruguay, de la que resultó la creación de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC) en 1995 como sucesora del Acuerdo General de Aranceles Aduaneros y Comercio (GATT), tardaron años en concluirse, pero ninguna murió por desatención o desinterés. La indiferencia actual resulta evidente de forma particular, aunque no exclusiva, en los Estados Unidos. El Presidente Barack Obama no dijo nada al respecto en su campaña para la reelección y también en su primera campaña apenas dijo algunas palabras. Es como para preguntarse si siquiera se entiende del todo en algunas capitales lo que está en juego.

Las logradas negociaciones comerciales multilaterales han dado forma en gran medida al mundo en el que vivimos y han mejorado espectacularmente la vida de millones de personas. Entre 1960 y 1990, sólo una persona de cada cinco vivía en una sociedad económicamente abierta; hoy, nueve de cada diez.

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