domingo, 16 de junho de 2013

Uma dura lição

A propósito da entrevista de Delors a que fiz anteriormente referência, já agora lembrei-me deste artigo de Philip Stephens, um dos colunistas que mais gosto de ler no Financial Times:

"(...) Given that they [i.e. the Europeans] are unable to agree among themselves, I suppose it is a stretch to imagine Europeans might make common cause with the Americans. A proposed transatlantic trade and investment pact [TTIP] offers Europe an opportunity to avoid geopolitical irrelevance. But even before the starting gun has been officially fired, a pall has fallen over prospects for a deal. Europeans do not seem to understand they have by far the most to lose from failure. I heard many objections to the TTIP (...). Most came from the EU side. Beyond calls for protection of this or that sector, I sensed a more visceral hostility. Why should proud Europeans bend their national and cultural preferences to the wishes of bossy Americans? (...) What is missing from these disputes about genetically modified food, public procurement practices, cotton prices and the rest is sight of the bigger prize. Put together the TTIP talks with parallel negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership and with a putative free-trade deal between Europe and Japan, and the story becomes one about the cohesion or otherwise of the world’s advanced democracies. One way of looking at the planned patchwork of deals is as a plot to lock out China; and the aim certainly is to continue to set norms and standards for the global economy. Another view, though, is that if western nations want to preserve an open, liberal and inclusive trading system, they must at least agree among themselves. A multilateral deal would have been preferable but, as was evident during the failed Doha round, it is out of reach. None of this is to suggest Europe should simply bow to US demands. There are plenty of areas where Washington will have to make painful concessions if a transatlantic accord is to be reached. There is no reason also why the two sides cannot agree to disagree on some of the most sensitive issues if there is substantive progress elsewhere. Europe has most to lose. The US possesses the economic and military strength and the natural resources to go it alone as a self-sufficient superpower. Europe faces the choice between cohesion and irrelevance. It has more to fear from an assertive China than cause to resent the US. Europeans can only hope that policy makers recognise the harsh facts of geopolitical life and put fights about chlorinated chickens into some perspective.
Philip Stephens, "China is giving Europe a harsh lesson in geopolitics" (Financial Times [online], 13.6.2013).

Descontando um círculo muito pequeno de pessoas, nada disto, ou muito pouco, é discutido em Portugal. No entanto, pelo menos em teoria, esta Parceria Transatlântica de Comércio e Investimento é algo muito interessante do ponto de vista de Portugal. A concretizar-se seria uma excelente notícia, por razões de natureza política e geopolítica mas também económica. Voltarei seguramente ao assunto.