La guerra de números del libre comercio

CAMBRIDGE – El Acuerdo Transpacífico (ATP), un megaacuerdo comercial que incluye a 12 países que en conjunto equivalen a más de un tercio del PIB global y un cuarto de las exportaciones del mundo, es el último campo de batalla de una larga confrontación entre los proponentes y los oponentes de los tratados de libre comercio.

Como suele suceder, los defensores del tratado se han provisto de una batería de modelos cuantitativos que hacen que las ventajas parezcan evidentes. El favorito predice que en 15 años se producirá un aumento de la renta real que va desde 0,5% para Estados Unidos a 8% en Vietnam. Además, este modelo (elaborado por Peter Petri y Michael Plummer, de las universidades Brandeis y Johns Hopkins, respectivamente, sobre la base de una larga tradición de modelos similares de esos autores y otros) prevé que el costo en materia de empleo en las industrias afectadas será relativamente insignificante.

Los oponentes del ATP esgrimen un modelo alternativo que genera proyecciones muy diferentes. Fue creado por Jeronim Capaldo de la Universidad Tufts y Alex Izurieta de la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre Comercio y Desarrollo (junto con Jomo Kwame Sundaram, ex subsecretario general de la ONU) y predice caída de salarios y aumento del desempleo generalizados, además de reducción de la renta en dos países clave: Estados Unidos y Japón.

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