The Fair Play Debate: Fair Trade

The odds are against developing countries when it comes to trade. Social safeguards level the playing field.

Issue: May-June 2008

IT HAS become commonplace for politicians of both political parties to trot out rhetoric about how we need free-but-fair trade. Expanding markets through trade liberalization, it is urged, is a win-win situation. How is it, then, that in spite of assertions that everyone benefits from trade, there is so much opposition, in both developed and developing countries? Is it that populists have so misled ordinary citizens that, though they are really better-off, they have come to believe they are doing worse?

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