Fairness in the WTO Trading System
Robert M. Stern
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics
January 28, 2011
Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper No. GSPP11-001
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Fairness, Equality of Opportunity, Distributive Justice, Global Trading System
JEL Classification: D63, F02, F10, F13working papers series
Date posted: March 14, 2011
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