Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Andrew Charlton: Making the System Fairer

Andrew Charlton is the co-author of Fair Trade For All, a look at the economy of the twenty-first century and how the world’s developing nations can be helped through free and fair trade.

In Fair Trade for All, Charlton and his co-author, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, examine the innate unfairness of the global trading market. Its basic premise is that trade is good for development, and the two authors outline a carefully managed trade liberalization agenda. 

Historically, developed countries used trade policies so unfair that compared to modern standards; they would “make their WTO ambassadors blush.” And they argue that fairness must be central to today’s trade negotiations.

Fairness, or Fair Trade, is an idea that seems to be taking hold among the masses. It is defined by the World Fair Trade Organization as “a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade.” 

This philosophy is slowly becoming policy, as can be seen on the Fair Trade certification labels on a growing number of consumer products on store shelves in many developed nations.

Advocates of Fair Trade say that it proves that greater justice in world trading is possible, and is a tangible contribution to the fight to end world poverty, climate change, and economic imbalance.

In Fair Trade For All, Stiglitz and Andrew Charlton “provide a workable and reasonable...way to make the current system fairer.”

Dr. Andrew Charlton is an Oxford-educated economist who served as a senior advisor to former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. He is currently a director at AlphaBeta, a strategy and economics firm.

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