Paul Lachine

Der Mythos vom zunehmenden Protektionismus

CAMBRIDGE – Während der Finanzkrise gab es einen Hund, der nicht bellte: Protektionismus. Obwohl es einiges Gezeter gab, haben Regierungen tatsächlich bemerkenswert wenige Handelsbarrieren für Importe errichtet. Die Weltwirtschaft ist genauso offen geblieben, wie sie es war, bevor die Krise eingeschlagen ist.

Normalerweise gedeiht Protektionismus in Zeiten wirtschaftlicher Gefahr. Wenn Regierungen mit wirtschaftlichem Niedergang und steigender Arbeitslosigkeit konfrontiert sind, schenken sie ihre Aufmerksamkeit viel eher Interessengruppen im Inland als der Einhaltung ihrer internationalen Verpflichtungen. 

Wie John Maynard Keynes erkannte, können Handelsbeschränkungen während einer wirtschaftlichen Rezession Arbeitsplätze schützen oder schaffen. Doch was unter extremen Bedingungen für ein einzelnes Land wünschenswert sein mag, kann sich auf die Weltwirtschaft äußerst nachteilig auswirken. Wenn alle Handelsschranken errichten, bricht das Handelsvolumen zusammen. Keiner gewinnt. Deshalb hat das verhängnisvolle Gerangel in der Handelspolitik während der 30er-Jahre die Große Depression stark verschlimmert.

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