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贸易战的真正代价

发自芝加哥——最近的日子每过一天,就会多一项针对贸易的袭击。那么为何如今每一项争议——无论是关于知识产权、移民,环境破坏还是战争赔偿——都会对贸易造成新的威胁?

在上世纪大部分时间里,美国一直都管理并捍卫着它在二战结束时创建的,以规则为基础的贸易体系——这种制度要求从根本上破除战前那种各大竞争势力相互猜疑的环境。美国促使大家认识到一个国家的增长和发展是可以通过贸易和投资的增加而使所有国家受益的。

在这一新制度下,一系列规则得以制定来限制经济强国的自利行为和强制威胁。美国是一个仁慈的霸主,不时敲打那些恶意行事的参与者。与此同时,只要那些国家能遵守规则,该体系下的多边机构(尤其是国际货币基金组织)就会在它们急需资金时施以援手。

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