US Mexico border John Moore/Getty Images

La antilógica comercial de Trump

LONDRES – Con toda la atención pública en Estados Unidos puesta en la salud, la inmigración y Rusia, las políticas comerciales del gobierno de Trump han pasado casi inadvertidas. Pero la lógica subyacente a la estrategia del presidente Donald Trump en asuntos de comercio está a punto de quedar bajo el candelero, porque en unos meses toca renegociar el histórico Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (NAFTA). Quedarán entonces a la vista tres errores fundamentales del pensamiento de Trump.

Para empezar, está la falsa premisa de que la pérdida de empleo en Estados Unidos se debió a malos tratados de comercio. Lo cierto es que la automatización y la robótica ya provocaban caída del empleo fabril en las economías desarrolladas mucho antes de la firma de cualquier tratado comercial importante. Las fuerzas de la globalización tal vez hayan agravado estas tendencias, pero hay una cuestión que suele quedar sepultada en la discusión (y que desestiman por igual todas las partes): que el objetivo de los tratados comerciales es domesticar esas fuerzas, no acelerarlas.

Tras varias décadas de disminución de aranceles en todo el mundo, hoy las negociaciones se centran más que nada en las reglas que gobiernan el comercio internacional. El Acuerdo Transpacífico (ATP), que Trump abandonó con bombos y platillos tras asumir el cargo, detallaba una serie de compromisos vinculantes cuyo objetivo era obtener condiciones más equitativas para los trabajadores estadounidenses.

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