Zapomenuté ctnosti volného obchodu

LONDÝN – „Laissez-faire,“ prohlásil nedávno francouzský prezident Nicolas Sarkozy, „má odzvoněno.“ Možná, ale má-li pravdu, je to skutečně důvod ke spokojenosti? Pokud je laissez-faire na konci své pouti, co jej eventuálně nahradí jako základ otevřené, globální společnosti?

Dnes je víc než kdy dřív vhodné připomenout si nejen to, že poslední velký finanční krach byl ve Spojených státech inspirací k politice Nového údělu, ale také že uvrhl svět do nového věku temnoty ekonomického nacionalismu a imperialismu. Volný obchod není ani zdaleka dokonalý, ale alternativy k němu jsou horší. Protekcionismus poškozuje bohatství, demokracii i mír.

Přesto skutečně hrozí nová vlna protekcionismu. Barack Obama, apelující na vzdouvající se protekcionistické nálady mezi Američany, během své prezidentské kampaně pohrozil, že jednostranně přepíše Severoamerickou dohodu o volném obchodu. Letos v červenci se roztříštilo kolo obchodních jednání Světové obchodní organizace započaté v Dauhá, zčásti proto, že USA odmítly snížit své zemědělské subvence.

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