Le libre-échange à l’ère du terrorisme

Le sentiment négatif de l’opinion publique américaine a été le facteur déclenchant de l’échec du marché accordé par l’administration Bush à une entreprise arabe pour la gestion de six grands ports maritimes américains. Or, le rejet de l’entreprise Dubai Ports World (DPW) a perturbé les partenaires commerciaux des Etats-Unis, ainsi que les partisans de la mondialisation, qui voient en ce refus un signe d’essoufflement de l’engagement américain envers le libéralisme économique.

En fait, il n’en est rien. Selon les derniers sondages d’opinion, les Américains sont plus engagés que jamais dans la mondialisation. Or, après les attaques terroristes de septembre 2001, l’engagement américain envers une économie ouverte doit être redéfini afin d’inclure la sécurité dans la liste des « marchandises » au côté d’objets plus habituels comme les téléviseurs et les voitures. Sinon, cet engagement perd toute sa pertinence.

Bloquer le marché des ports avec Dubaï ou imposer des limites aux flux de travailleurs étrangers en raison de menaces terroristes ne relèvent plus du protectionnisme au sens habituel du terme, où les intérêts privés mettent en péril le bien public, comme par exemple lorsque les agriculteurs pratiquent des prix plus élevés en raison de la limitation des importations concurrentielles.

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