My belief is that the need for concern and care that the free trade ought to be “fair” to the poorest nations of the world is necessary. This need ought to incorporate mechanisms and efforts of ensuring that socioeconomic developments are distributed justifiably while promoting respectable and transparent trading partnerships. The rights of these nations also should be secured more so against socioeconomic exploitation and marginalization.
Free trade’s fairness ought to include mechanisms and efforts’ integration in the promotion of sustainability and equitability of economic growth and development among the international societies as well as ensuring that mechanisms and outcomes of the free trade are not harmful to or marginalizing the poorest societies’ wellbeing.
This is a significant need especially in the context of the poorest nations and societies in the world which are susceptible to discrimination, marginalization and alienation in the global trade (Lyon & Moberg 2010: 4-6). Different approaches are vital when it comes to protecting the poorest nations of the world against the possible injustices in the free trade.
Among the approaches that will ensure fairness is allowing the poorest nations as well as their industries access to the markets of the rich nations. The creation and enforcement of highly restrictive import tariffs as well as protectionist policies in the environments of the rich nations is unfair because it limits the competitiveness and access of the products and industries of the poor nations in the rich nations.
Enforcing policies that offer protection to the poorest countries against economic and industrial adversities that cause unsustainable exploitation of resources while neglecting the wellbeing of the environment especially climate change and environmental resources’ depletion is another vital approach of ensuring fairness in the free trade. (Lyon & Moberg 2010: 4-8). Adopting ethical industrial systems, structures and activities via environmental protection and ensuring vital global resources’ sustainability is vital in ensuring trade fairness for the poorest countries.
The U.S ought to continue trading with countries that depict poor records and notoriety in human rights since imposing trade bans for such countries is not a productive and practical means of solving this problem. Trade bans imposition is just an escapist approach rather than solving the problem. This cannot influence a sustainable and suitable solution. The other reason why the U.S should continue trading with such countries is that a trade ban can hurt the population of a country by denying it services and products that are vital for the lives of the citizens as well as the socioeconomic activities. Eventually this can cause a humanitarian crisis.
The U.S is a superpower with many multinationals that are manufacturing and distributing products that are used and applied in the socioeconomic activities as well as lives of many communities globally, more so in the contemporary times. As such, its position demands that it takes a responsible strategy when it comes to handling governments that depict notoriety in the violation of human rights. Imposing a trade ban entails depicting insensitivity towards the needs of the citizens of an errant nation because it compromises the capacities of the citizens to accomplish socioeconomic developments and achieve their wellbeing.
Instead, the U.S ought to pursue participative and diplomatic solutions that involve multi-party negotiations and trade conditions’ options as well as other sanctions that would pressure the government of the concerned nations (Chauffour & Maur 2011:443-450). Employing such approaches can cause socioeconomic and political pressure on the governments of the countries and eventually influence changes in the law and reforms that would assure the citizens of their human rights. This option represents a solution that is more sustainable and productive than imposing a trade ban.
I agree with the opinion that a government ought to focus trade policies on what is suitable for most consumers. This is due to the fact that such a focus gives a government an opportunity to realize and to preserve socioeconomic states and conditions that advance the wellbeing of the society. In the society, there are different social classes, political and socioeconomic sectors among the consumers. This diversity causes a contradiction of interests (OECD 2001: 41-49).
This leaves the government a little opportunity of fulfill all the interest of consumers and social classes by enforcing its trade policy. One consumers’ group will be affected less positively, the other adversely and the other negatively by any policy that a government adopts whether export and import policy, fiscal policy, free trade policy, custom union policy, protectionism, taxation and tariffs regimes among others. Each policy also presents both market disadvantages and advantages to different consumer groups.
The implication of this is that the best policy that a government ought to take should present advantages to most consumers. The government ought to evaluate the preferences, unique challenges and needs of different consumers’ classes while developing its trade policy so that it can develop a policy that addresses the interests of majority of the consumer groups in a comprehensive manner with least side effects on the others.
Nevertheless, the focus of the government on appropriate trade policies for most consumers should consider suitability and sustainability of these policies for consumers’ wellbeing and socioeconomic development in long term (OECD 2001:41-49). The focus of the government should be on appropriate trade policies for most consumers provided that the majority’s interests are not endangered.
Chauffour, J., & Maur, J. (2011). Preferential Trade Agreement Policies for Development: a Handbook. Washington, USA: World Bank Publications
Lyon, S., & Moberg, M. (2010). Fair Trade and Social Justice: Global Ethnographies. New York, USA: New York University Press
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2001). The DAC Guidelines strengthening Trade Capacity for Development. Paris, France: OECD Publishing