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Fairness in the WTO Trading System

By Andrew G. Brown and Robert M. Stern


We first provide a brief critique of the utilitarian principle as a guide to fairness in the world trading system. We then turn to the alternative conception of fairness in terms of economic equity, exploring the meaning of its two components: equality of opportunity and distributive justice. We thereafter proceed to discuss the conditions of autonomy and reciprocity that have to be met in order to realize greater fairness in multilateral trade negotiations. Next, we comment on aspects of procedural justice that are necessary for the functioning of a fair trading system. Finally, we conclude with an overall assessment of the considerations of the fairness achieved in the Uruguay Round multilateral negotiations

Topics: Fairness, Equality of Opportunity, Distributive Justice, Global Trading System
Year: 2010
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