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Estados Unidos, China y la trampa de la codependencia

NEW HAVEN – Aparentemente en conflicto con el mundo, el presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, una vez más planteó la posibilidad de una pelea comercial con China. El 14 de agosto, dio instrucciones al Representante de Comercio de Estados Unidos de comenzar a investigar el incumplimiento por parte de China de derechos de propiedad intelectual. Al enmarcar este esfuerzo en la Sección 301 de la Ley de Comercio de Estados Unidos de 1974, la administración Trump podría imponer aranceles elevados y generalizados a las importaciones chinas.

Difícilmente éste sea un hecho sin consecuencias. Si bien las acusaciones pueden estar perfectamente justificadas, como quedó documentado en el último "Informe del Representante de Comercio de Estados Unidos ante el Congreso sobre el Acatamiento a la OMC por parte de China", una acción punitiva tendría serias consecuencias para las empresas y los consumidores norteamericanos. Nos guste o no, es un resultado inevitable de la relación de codependencia profundamente enquistada entre las dos economías más grandes del mundo.

En una relación humana codependiente, cuando una parte altera los términos de compromiso, la otra se siente desvalorizada e invariablemente responde del mismo modo. Lo mismo puede esperarse de las economías y de sus líderes. Eso significa que, en un conflicto comercial, es importante pensar en la reciprocidad -específicamente, la respuesta de China ante una acción estadounidense-. En efecto, ese fue precisamente el argumento que ofreció el Ministerio de Comercio de China en su respuesta oficial a la jugada de Trump. China, prometió el Ministerio, "tomaría todas las medidas apropiadas para salvaguardar firmemente sus legítimos derechos".

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