1. Le vrai problme du libre-change

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GEOMETR.IT     project-syndicate.org

 

*… des consquences que ces entreprises prsentent malhonntement comme le  prix du dveloppement

NEW DELHI. Jayati Ghosh Pour la plupart des dtracteurs de la mondialisation, le libre-change est l’ennemi numro un, responsable du creusement des ingalits et de l’aggravation de l’inscurit conomique parmi les travailleurs. Cette logique explique le soutien  l’augmentation des droits de douanes dcide par le prsident amricain Donald Trump.

Mais pourquoi alors ce message rsonne-t-il bien au-del des tats-Unis, et des autres conomies dveloppes, jusqu’ concerner les travailleurs de pays en voie de dveloppement pourtant habituellement dcrits comme les principaux bnficiaires de la mondialisation ?

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Le libre-change n’est pas l’unique source – ni mme une source majeure – d’ingalit et de prcarit  travers le monde. tonnamment, un problme persistant et crateur de bien moindres colres populaires rside en ce que la finance continue de dominer l’conomie mondiale, engendrant une importante instabilit ainsi que des risques croissants du type de ceux qui ont conduit  la crise financire mondiale de 2008.

Un certain nombre de pays continuent en outre de recourir  l’austrit budgtaire, plutt que de consolider leurs budgets par exemple en s’attaquant  une optimisation et vasion fiscale d’ampleur significative de la part des grandes socits et des individus les plus fortuns. Des innovations d’conomie de main-d’œuvre ne cessent par ailleurs d’tre dveloppes et dployes, produisant un  chmage technologique  parmi certaines catgories.

Pour certains, si le libre-change est  ce point diabolis, c’est tout simplement parce que les populations ne comprennent pas ce qui s’inscrit dans leur intrt. Cette affirmation est  la fois condescendante et simpliste. Car si le libre-change se rvle en fin de compte largement bnfique, le fait est qu’ mesure de la libralisation des changes commerciaux, les ingalits se sont accentues.

Parmi les raisons majeures  cela, les rgles mondiales actuelles permettent  un petit nombre de grandes socits de capter une part toujours plus importante de la valeur cre par les changes commerciaux.

Plus prcisment, la multiplication des chaines de valeur mondiales permet  de puissantes multinationales de contrler la conception, la production ainsi que la distribution des biens et services commercialiss, alors mme que divers segments sont externaliss vers des entreprises plus rduites, loin des marchs finaux.

Ces grandes socits bnficient souvent de monopoles de proprit intellectuelle, renforcs par des accords de libre-change conus pour dvelopper la puissance d’entreprise. Ceci leur permet de percevoir des rentes conomiques, en particulier aux stades de pr-production (notamment la conception) et de post-production (marketing et stratgie de marque), o sont gnrs le plus de profits et de valeur ajoute.

Dans le mme temps, une concurrence de plus en plus intense dans la phase de production pousse les prix  la baisse, si bien que les vritables producteurs, que ce soit les employeurs ou les travailleurs, peroivent une part dcroissante en termes de valeur.

Consquence de ce systme, nombre des pays en voie de dveloppement qui auraient d bnficier de la mondialisation des chanes de valeur sont rests confines dans des activits  faible productivit, qui ne produisent qu’une valeur conomique limite, et qui n’alimentent pas mme une plus large mise  niveau technologique.

Le rapport 2018  venir de la Confrence des Nations Unies sur le commerce et le dveloppement (CNUCED) se penche sur la manire dont les plus grandes entreprises sont parvenues  accrotre rgulirement leur part dans les exportations totales, jusqu’ dominer le monde aujourd’hui.

Constat ironique, cette tendance s’est intensifie depuis la crise financire mondiale de 2008, qui a mis en lumire la puissance de march disproportionne d’une poigne d’acteurs, et les gains dmesurs que peroit le top 1 % de la pyramide de distribution des revenus.

.  .  .   Traduit de l’anglais par Martin Morel

Jayati Ghosh

is Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and a member of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation.

* 1 — La publication n’est pas un ditorial. Cela reflte la position et l’argument de l’auteur. L’original est post : project-syndicate.org

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12 Comments

  1. What does the US, as a «world power» really have? What capability? If the US had this capability, as shown in those photos, we would have already seen it on every hand-held-device, courtesy of the DOD-so would the rest of the world. So, now the rest of the world is seeing what CHINA has to offer us, and the rest of the world. Even if the whole article is just a «shmear campaign courtesy of RT», it’s more than rubber-duckies- floating around with no direction on the high seas.

  2. Where is the data that “a few large firms” are capturing an ever larger share of value-added? It is true that multinational corporation factories tend to be more productive than developing country local companies, but that is due to institutional best practices, which of course do spill out over time.

  3. The author of this article has hit the nail on the head but regrettably has failed to name or to even mention the «real culprits» behind inequality and so on, and the real culprits being: governments, their policy makers, their vested interests and last but not least their failed and in many cases inadequate policies.

  4. Governments always say that they seek fair competition and yet they do the exact opposite. Cut the subsidies, financial support from the multinationals and exclude them from bidding for government contracts, would be one answer, but governments will never do that of fear of any adverse effect on the equity markets. So in short, we are in a vicious circle and the policy makers on the left are better start thinking outside the box, their current proposed policies won’t fly!

  5. We ain’t dealing with «free trade» problems at all, and neither are the people of other nations. The majority are dealing with the consequences of misappropriated funds, by people that are increasingly exempt from any legal or personal consequences for any results of their actions.

  6. These large firms are just taking advantage of gov’t currency manipulation. The author’s analysis is just correlation not causation. Without the foreign gov’ts buying USDollars, these large firms would not be able to sell their USD proceeds to pay their worker’s and suppliers at a profit. The gov’t buys their USDs and gives these firms local currency at a great rate to insure a profit. It is the imbalance in trade that is one of the major causes of inequality.

  7. As a consequence, Europe, rather than being an autonomous ACTOR, risks becoming the OBJECT of other people’s (i.e., Asia & the US) capitalist corporatism. Indeed, as far as international finance is concerned, Europe is out of the race.

  8. «But the implications of allowing a few global corporations to wield such vast market power extend further. For one thing, such concentrated economic power makes it more difficult for countries to industrialize, because local companies cannot expect to compete with established multinationals.»

  9. Additionally, the extra distance between end consumer and producer (at least in developing countries that primarilly produce for export to developed countries), makes it more difficult for local labor to solicit their local governments for better worker protections. While developed countries were developing (1900s — 1940s), consumers and producers had the same government so that government was forced to make some kind of workable compromise.

  10. In today’s economy, if a developing country’s government tried to increase labor protections at the expense of a multinational corporation’s profitability, that company (and likely others) would move to a country where it it easier to exploit cheap labor. Therefore, labor protections would put a national government’s interest of maintaining GDP/Debt/Growth targets (and any potential graft) at risk, making it less likely that worker’s lives will improve like they did for the West. This means that although globalization helped raise millions out of abject poverty, it put a ceiling above their heads making it so they would likely never achieve a Western Standard of Living.

  11. It will get worse, then it will get better, for some. The «some» is the real «sum» of the game. Who is playing who, and for what? You luck out, and then you may not.It’s not a good picture or conclusion for 2018, but it sure looks like that’s where we are.

  12. This article focuses on the problem behind the corporate take-over of states worldwide. Government is no longer government by and for the state at all. Government is only being utilized by corporations to control, and suppress populations. Every effective tool to create any balance to offset control functions of government are being destroyed by corporate processes to consolidate their business activities, due to limited profit options, during the process of consolidation.

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