Fairness in the WTO Trading System

Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper No. GSPP11-001

32 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2011

See all articles by Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown

Independent

Robert M. Stern

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 28, 2011

Abstract

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 and implications for conclusion of the Doha Round.

Keywords: Fairness, Equality of Opportunity, Distributive Justice, Global Trading System

JEL Classification: D63, F02, F10, F13

Suggested Citation

Brown, Andrew G. and Stern, Robert M., Fairness in the WTO Trading System (January 28, 2011). Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper No. GSPP11-001, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1783903 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1783903

Andrew G. Brown

Independent ( email )

PO Box 1763
Wellfleet, MA 02667
United States

Robert M. Stern (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States
313-764-2373 (Phone)
313-763-9181 (Fax)

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