Atlantic City poor people John Moore/Getty Images

El peligroso neoproteccionismo de los Estados Unidos

NUEVA YORK – El presidente de los Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, está a punto de adoptar una política errónea, que perjudicará (sobre todo en el corto plazo) a países de África subsahariana, América latina y Asia, especialmente economías emergentes como China y Sri Lanka (que mantienen grandes superávits comerciales con Estados Unidos), así como India y Filipinas (importantes fuentes de mano de obra subcontratada). Pero el principal afectado será Estados Unidos.

La política de marras es un extraño proteccionismo neoliberal (llamémoslo “neoproteccionismo”). Por un lado, intenta “salvar” puestos de trabajo locales apelando a imponer aranceles a los bienes extranjeros, influir sobre los tipos de cambio, restringir el ingreso de trabajadores extranjeros y crear desincentivos contra la subcontratación laboral. Por el otro lado, implica una desregulación financiera neoliberal. No es lo que hoy necesita la clase trabajadora estadounidense.

Los trabajadores estadounidenses se enfrentan a problemas serios. A pesar del bajo índice de desempleo del 4,8% que hoy exhibe Estados Unidos, mucha gente sólo trabaja a jornada parcial, y la tasa de participación en la fuerza laboral (la proporción de la población en edad de trabajar que tiene empleo o lo está buscando) cayó de 67,3% en 2000 a 62,7% en enero de este año. Además, el salario real está prácticamente estancado hace décadas; el ingreso real medio de los hogares hoy es el mismo que en 1998. El ingreso del 20% de hogares más pobres incluso se redujo ligeramente entre 1973 y 2014, mientras el del 5% de hogares más ricos se duplicaba.

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