Why free trade is required by justice

Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1):126-153 (2012)
The article argues that free trade is required by any plausible conception of justice. Free trade is supported by a host of consequentialist and deontological reasons. Empirically, trade increases global and national wealth, and in particular helps the poor. Morally, those who benefit from protectionist laws are not deserving beneficiaries of wealth redistribution. Both economic theory and evidence amply warrant the view that trade is beneficial. Protectionism by rich countries is harmful, not only to those countries' consumers, but to producers in poor countries. Given this, and given the fact that protectionism is almost always the result of political pressure by inefficient producers, there is no plausible moral reason to support it. Protectionism by poor countries is equally harmful. Relying on the institutionalist literature, the article shows that protectionism is yet another bad institution that contributes to economic stagnation in those countries. The article considers and rejects two criticisms of free trade: the problem of stolen goods, and the pauper-labor argument.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0265052511000112
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,803
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
The Problem of Global Justice.Thomas Nagel - 2005 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (2):113-147.
World Poverty and Human Rights.Thomas Pogge - 2002 - Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1–7.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
When Philosophers Misdiagnose.F. R. Teson - 2014 - Analysis 74 (1):107-118.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Marx on Free Trade.Reza Ghorashi - 1995 - Science and Society 59 (1):38 - 51.
Free Trade and the Environment.Nicole Hassoun - 2009 - Environmental Ethics 31 (1):51-66.
The Two Faces of Globalization.Douglas A. Irwin - 2000 - Critical Review 14 (1):11-18.
Free Trade, Poverty, and Inequality.Nicole Hassoun - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (1):5-44.
Economic Policy and World Organization.Asaf Bar-Tura - 2011 - Perspectives on Global Development and Technology 10 (1):194-212.
Property Rights and the Resource Curse: A Reply to Wenar.Scott Wisor - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Research 37:185-204.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
65 ( #83,928 of 2,202,717 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #97,530 of 2,202,717 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature