El futuro del dólar

CAMBRIDGE – La política económica estadounidense tiene como objetivo un dólar fuerte en casa y competitivo en el extranjero. Un dólar fuerte en casa significa una moneda que conserve su poder adquisitivo gracias a una tasa de inflación baja. Un dólar competitivo en el extranjero significa que otros países no deben aplicar políticas que deprecien artificialmente el valor de sus monedas para promover las exportaciones y desalentar las importaciones.

La meta del dólar fuerte en casa ha sido lo que ha guiado a la Reserva Federal al menos desde que Paul Volcker aplastó la inflación a principios de los ochenta. Aunque los Estados Unidos no tienen una meta de inflación formal, los mercados entienden que la Reserva Federal busca una tasa cercana al 2%. Y, si bien por ley la Reserva Federal debe asegurar un crecimiento sostenible además de una inflación baja, los funcionarios encargados de la política monetaria reconocen que el crecimiento sostenible requiere estabilidad de precios. Durante décadas, los funcionarios de la Tesorería han insistido en que “Un dólar fuerte es bueno para los Estados Unidos”. Pero ese eslogan nunca ha sido una guía para las actividades oficiales del país en los mercados internacionales.

La Tesorería no interviene en los mercados de divisas para apuntalar al dólar y la Reserva Federal no aumenta las tasas de interés a esos efectos. En cambio, los Estados Unidos subrayan ante los gobiernos extranjeros que un sistema de comercio global efectivo exige no sólo la eliminación de las barreras comerciales formales sino también la ausencia de políticas orientadas a provocar valores de las divisas que fomenten grandes superávits comerciales.

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