Post Reply Free trade or fair trade?
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21 / M / Worcester, Massac...
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Posted 7/21/15
Personally, I prefer fair trade. It's more ethical than free trade.
Jkohl 
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Posted 7/21/15
Is it too much to ask for both?
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22 / M
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Posted 7/21/15
Free trade: it's more ethical and just than "fair" trade.
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27 / M / TX
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Posted 7/21/15
First world countries free trade, third world countries fair trade
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38 / M / Kansas
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Posted 7/21/15
Fair trade = Don't try to rip third worlders off. (Good)
Free trade = The lack of tariffs that make it impossible for American industry to compete against foreign slave labour in their own market. (Bad)
No brainer there.
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22 / M
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Posted 7/21/15 , edited 7/21/15
I feel a need to elaborate on this as it would likely be misunderstood. Free trade is a state of trade between nations that has no trade barriers (tariffs, quotes, bans, etc.) and no subsidies. Free trade allows comparative advantage to maximize the resources of both by allowing a higher degree of specialization and a greater economic growth. The primary reason that the nations in Africa have had such limited growth over the past 50 or so years has been because of a lack of free trade--because these nations have largely been cut off from the global market and because lousy internal policy that has destroyed local businesses that would have ordinarily created jobs, goods, and exports.

Fair trade, in contrast, focuses on the short-term conditions of those in the market, often artificially inflating prices beyond a "just price", which is the natural occurrence of free markets at each transaction. I'd recommend looking up Just Price Theory if you have never heard or read about it. Because developing countries typically have little industry and a relatively little education in comparison to developed countries, they would ordinarily have a competitive advantage in agricultural products because of their comparative advantage in that field; however, subsidies and tariffs tend to favor local industries and inflate prices of local production leading to over production and horrid growth--look up Haiti's rice industry, for example. A "fair" price is inflated because of perceived need; imagine how fast people would abandon the artificially high price as soon as the perception of poverty in a nation changes: people who would have developed based upon the artificial price would be screwed--like how Cuba was screwed when Europe discovered more ways to make sugar (from sugar beets).
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27 / M
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Posted 7/21/15
Whole point of trade is profit.
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