Biblioteca della Libertà

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Categoria/Category: Anno XXVIII, n. 120, gennaio-marzo 1993
Editore/Publisher: Centro Einaudi

Abstract

Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

Two contradictory phenomena may be observed in world commerce today: de facto globalisation, as a result of technical progress in transport and communications, and enhanced by a certain liberalisation of international trade (reduced customs tariffs, abolition of exchange controls, financial deregulation etc.), is counterpoised by the proliferation of non-traditional forms of protectionism (import quotas, anti-dumping rights, self-limitation agreements, miscellaneous subsidies, especially towards research and development), which are increasing rapidly and whose effects, albeit difficult to evaluate exactly, are nonetheless most certainly underestimated. In actual fact, the present economic crisis might well be due to the blocking of a considerable portion of resources in sectors of low or uncertain productivity. It would be an illusion, however, to imagine that it is possible to use protectionism to reduce the effects of globalisation, which, in the developed countries, are felt most of all on the labour market. An economy anaesthetised by protectionism does not change nor does it continue to grow, while social tensions are much harder to deal with in a stagnant economy than in a growing economy. The fact is that global commerce is the only tool capable of ensuring long term, across-the-board exploitation of the opportunities of specialisation which modern technology offers.

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