Magazine article International Trade Forum

Talking Up Trade

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Talking Up Trade

Article excerpt

In development circles, trade is becoming accepted as a way to address poverty. Among the broader public, however, few make the link between trade and poverty reduction. Trade is seen as an "insider" or elite topic, not a subject of dinner conversation.

But this is slowly shifting. NGOs are taking the trade debate to a broader public with flair, with fair trade groups and Oxfam in the forefront. Governments are bringing the views of business and NGOs into trade talks. Negotiators are making the case to enlist business leaders to advocate for free trade. Business students have even written to the Financial Times about it.

Still, there is more room for change. The general public has decidedly mixed views about trade. Some concerns are justified. But how informed is the debate? And what are trade organizations doing to influence it?

In developing countries, newsrooms face challenges: too few specialized reporters, slow Internet access and the impression that trade research, surveys and decisions are happening on faraway stages. …

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