Philosophers have done very little work on what makes trade fair. Perhaps the most extensive discussion is Malgorzata Kurjanska and Mathias Risse’s article, “Fairness in Trade II: export subsidies and the fair trade movement.”2 In their article, Kurjanska and Risse consider the case for trade subsidies and the Fair Trade movement. They suggest that it is not permissible for developed countries to give their producers subsidies because doing so does not strike an appropriate balance between meeting the needs of the global poor and protecting domestic workers (Kurjanska and Risse, 2008: 34). Kurjanska and Risse also argue that the case for Fair Trade hinges, primarily, on whether or not it is part of the best development strategy for poor countries. They do not think Fair Trade is part of the best development strategy and, so, they believe purchasing Fair Trade certified goods is only acceptable because doing so does not constitute a large share of the market in traded goods. This chapter argues that the case against subsidies and Fair Trade Kurjanska and Risse present is much weaker than they make out. To the contrary, it argues that giving some subsidies and purchasing some Fair Trade certified goods may even be necessary to make trade fair. Section 11.2 starts by saying a few words about the normative framework Kurjanska and Risse adopt.
Hassoun, N. (2011). Making free trade fair. In New waves in ethics (pp. 231-258). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Hassoun, Nicole, "Making Free Trade Fair" (2011). Philosophy Faculty Scholarship. 7.