¿Una mala apuesta comercial de Europa?

PARIS – El inicio de negociaciones para un acuerdo de libre comercio entre la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos -que recibió el nombre oficial de Alianza Transatlántica de Comercio e Inversión (TTIP por su sigla en inglés)- marca un punto de inflexión fundamental para la UE y el comercio mundial. También consolida el alejamiento de ambas partes de la política de comercio multilateral en los últimos años. Puede que sea la decisión apropiada para Estados Unidos, pero podría implicar un problema serio para Europa.

En los últimos 50 años, la UE, que representa apenas el 7% de la población global, ha logrado mantener una posición comercial excepcionalmente fuerte, a pesar del ascenso de mercados emergentes como China. De modo que, si bien Estados Unidos y Japón vieron caer sus respectivas participaciones en las exportaciones globales, la cuota de la UE se mantuvo estable, en aproximadamente el 20%.

De hecho, el poder comercial de la UE contrasta marcadamente con la percepción de una Europa debilitada. Más importante aún, para lograrlo, Europa no hizo más que invertir fuertemente en un sistema comercial multilateral a través del GATT y luego de la Organización Mundial de Comercio.

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