Fair Trade for All: How Trade Can Promote Development

Fair Trade for All: How Trade Can Promote Development

Fair Trade for All: How Trade Can Promote Development

Fair Trade for All: How Trade Can Promote Development

Synopsis

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of theNew York Timesbestselling bookGlobalization and Its Discontents, Joseph E. Stiglitz here joins with fellow economist Andrew Charlton to offer a challenging and controversial argument about how globalization can actually help Third World countries to develop and prosper.

InFair Trade For All, Stiglitz and Charlton address one of the key issues facing world leaders today--how can the poorer countries of the world be helped to help themselves through freer, fairer trade? To answer this question, the authors put forward a radical and realistic new model for managing trading relationships between the richest and the poorest countries. Their approach is designed to open up markets in the interests of all nations and not just the most powerful economies, to ensure that trade promotes development, and to minimize the costs of adjustments. The book illuminates the reforms and principles upon which a successful settlement must be based.

Vividly written, highly topical, and packed with insightful analyses,Fair Trade For Alloffers a radical new solution to the problems of world trade. It is a must read for anyone interested in globalization and development in the Third World.

Excerpt

By the end of the twentieth century trade liberalization had become part of the mantra of political leadership of both the left and the right in the advanced industrial countries. President Clinton had hoped that a new round of trade negotiations, which was to have been launched at the Seattle meeting of the WTO in December 1999, would be his final achievement in helping create a new world of trade liberalization, capping the successful creation of NAFTA and the completion of the Uruguay Round. Perhaps the new round would be remembered as the Seattle Round, or even better, as the Clinton Round, as previous rounds had been named after the city where they were started (e.g. the Torquay Round of 1951 and the Tokyo Round of 1973-9) or the official who came to be identified with the talks (e.g. the Dillon Round of 1960-1 and the Kennedy Round of 1964-7).

As Chief Economist of the World Bank, I was greatly worried about the imbalances of the Uruguay Round, and sensitive to the fact that it had not delivered on the promises that had been made to the developing countries. In an address to the WTO in Geneva, I documented those imbalances and called for a Development Round to redress them. Just days before the WTO meeting convened in Seattle (in an address at Harvard University) I predicted that unless redressing those imbalances was at the top of the agenda, the developing countries would reject another round of trade negotiations. As it turned out, Seattle was a watershed. The riots and protests on the streets during the conference were the most public manifestation of a shift in the debate about trade and trade liberalization—and of a more significant shift in the relationship between the developed and the developing world.

See Stiglitz (1999b, c).

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