Professional man in suit standing in street.

El argumento a favor del TPP

STANFORD – Luego de la conclusión del Acuerdo Transpacífico de Cooperación Económica (TPP por su sigla en inglés) al que adhirieron 12 países de la Cuenca del Pacífico, cada vez se intensifican más los debates sobre los costos y beneficios de la liberalización del comercio. Los líderes de la primera hora en la campaña presidencial de Estados Unidos, tanto el republicano Donald Trump como la demócrata Hillary Clinton, han expresado su oposición al TPP, aunque como secretaria de Estado, Clinton lo calificó como "el patrón oro de los acuerdos comerciales".

El nivel correcto de apertura comercial no es un debate nuevo. Históricamente, los sistemas comerciales han variado entre bastante abiertos y sumamente restringidos por reglas, aranceles o barreras no arancelarias, dependiendo de los cambios en la fortaleza relativa de las fuerzas económicas y políticas liberalizadoras o proteccionistas. Pero inclusive en sistemas cerrados, por más severas que sean las sanciones que imponen al comercio, normalmente se desarrollan mercados negros, debido a los "réditos del comercio" generado por fuerzas económicas naturales.

El deseo de comerciar surge cuando los beneficios domésticos de importar un producto (ya sea un producto terminado o un componente) superan el precio pagado -por ejemplo, si el bien importado no se puede producir en el país o sólo a un costo más elevado-. Como demostró el economista británico David Ricardo hace dos siglos, a un país hasta puede resultarle mejor importar productos que puede producir de manera más económica, si con esto permite la producción de otros productos que son aún más baratos de producir. Los réditos adicionales del comercio incluyen una mayor variedad y las economías de escala que implica producir para mercados globales.

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