Fair Traders And Free Traders

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Fair traders and free traders have a surprising amount of common ground. Both camps are concerned with global justice, poverty alleviation and global prosperity Free trade refers to a general openness to exchange goods and information between and among nations with few-to-no barriers-to-trade. Fair trade refers to exchanges, the terms of which meet the demands of justice. Proponents of fair trade argue that exchanges between developed nations and lesser developed countries (LDCs) occur along uneven terms, and should be made more equitable. The Fair Trade Federation's Annual Report describes the fair trade movement as "a global network of producers, traders, marketers, advocates and consumers focused on building equitable trading relationships between consumers and the world's most economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers." Fair trade organizations, such as the Fair Trade Federation and the International Federation for Alternative Trade maintain that fair trade practices alleviate poverty, enhance gender equity, improve working conditions, the environment, and distributive justice. By contrast, free trade proponents believe that under a system of voluntary exchange, the demands of justice are met. Although free traders hope to alleviate poverty and improve conditions around the world, they prefer measures that are less intrusive than fair traders, who regard the unfettered market as injurious to these same goals. Free traders argue that in the long run markets will solve - that is, when permitted to come to equilibrium, both rich and poor nations will benefit. In this way, free traders hold that free trade is fair trade. The Case for Fair Trade The Dependency Thesis Proponents of fair trade maintain that trade between and among nations occurs in coercive and uneven ways. Even if nations trade freely, smaller nations become

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