Fair Trade vs Free Trade

Topics: Fair trade, United States, Free trade Pages: 4 (1412 words) Published: May 13, 2011
Fair Trade Versus Free Trade

Cohort 4 believes that fair trade is the most prosperous way to trade with other countries. Both free trade and fair trade have advantages and disadvantages. The researchers in Cohort 4 have established a viewpoint regarding fair trade and free trade. Considering the research that the cohort has conducted, they are in opposition to free trade. The terms free and fair trade sometimes go hand-in-hand but there are distinct differences between the two. According to Wikipedia, free trade is a system of trade policy that allows traders to act and or transact without interference from the government. Free trade implies the trade of goods without taxes (tarrifs) or other trade barriers such as quotas, subsidies, regulations, or laws that give some firms, households, or factors of production an advantage over others. Other features of free trade include access to markets and market information, inability of firms to distort markets through government imposed monopoly or oligopoly power, and the free movement of labor and capital between and within countries (Wikipedia). A universally accepted definition of fair trade was created by an informal association of the four main fair trade networks, FINE. According to FINE, fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers (Wikipedia). According to a Newstatesman article, some anti-globalization protestors believe that “free trade is a conspiracy of the rich to get richer at the expense of the poor” (Weyer, 2005). They believe free trade is a way to steal the world’s natural resources, destroy its environment, and treat its workers like slaves, while making sure there are plenty of McDonald’s restaurants and World Banks that do not go bankrupt (Weyer, 2005). Free...

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