Warum freier Handel wichtig ist

NEW YORK – Auch wenn Skeptiker oft das Gegenteil behaupten, ist das Konzept des freien Handels nach wie vor aktuell. Es bezieht sich nicht nur auf den allgemeinen Wohlstand (das “Gesamt-BIP”), sondern auch auf dessen Verteilung, wodurch es außerdem ethisch relevant wird.

Zwischen der Offenheit des Handels und wirtschaftlicher Prosperität gibt es starke und deutliche Verbindungen. Arvind Panagariya von der Columbia University hat beispielsweise Entwicklungsländer in zwei Gruppen aufgeteilt: “Wunderländer” mit BIP-Wachstumsraten pro Kopf von 3% oder mehr und “Debakelländer” ohne Wachstum oder mit negativen Wachstumsraten. Er fand heraus, dass beide Gruppen im Zeitraum von 1961-1999 vergleichbare Wachstumsraten im Handelsbereich aufwiesen.

Natürlich könnte man argumentieren, dass BIP-Wachstum die Ursache für Handelswachstum ist, anstatt umgekehrt – bis man allerdings die Länder genauer unter die Lupe nimmt. Es stimmt auch nicht, dass Handelswachstum wenig mit Handelspolitik zu tun hat: Die Handelsströme wurden nicht nur durch geringere Transportkosten, sondern auch durch stetigen Abbau von Handelshemmnissen gesteigert.

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