El libre comercio en la época del terrorismo

La opinión pública negativa en los Estados Unidos fue el factor decisivo en el fracaso de la propuesta para dar la administración de seis puertos estadounidenses a una compañía árabe. Pero el rechazo a Dubai Ports World ha molestado a los socios comerciales de Estados Unidos y a los defensores de la globalización, quienes lo interpretan como una señal de que el compromiso de este país con la economía abierta está menguando.

Según las últimas encuestas de opinión popular, ese no es el caso: los estadounidenses siguen tan comprometidos con la globalización como antes. Pero después de los ataques terroristas de septiembre de 2001, los compromisos estadounidense con la economía abierta deben redefinirse para incluir el interés del público en "bienes" como la seguridad, además de los productos más convencionales como los televisores y automóviles. De otra forma, el compromiso pierde su relevancia.

Bloquear la venta de los puertos a Dubai o establecer restricciones al flujo de trabajadores huéspedes a causa del miedo al terrorismo no constituye proteccionismo en el sentido usual del término, donde los intereses privados trastornan el bien común, como cuando los agricultores aumentan los precios porque las importaciones competitivas están restringidas.

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