Traditionally, trade is defined as the voluntary exchange of goods or services. This leads to the question: What is fair trade? In 1822, Sen. John Taylor wrote that it is the “free will which constitutes fair exchange.” Modern politicians have a much different view. The modern understanding of unfair trade does not mean that the parties did not exchange voluntarily, but rather that government officials disapprove of the voluntary exchanges citizens chose to make. Fair trade now means that the government decides what citizens should be allowed to buy and what price they should be forced to pay. It is government intervention to control trade through restrictions.
II. Example of How Protectionism Hurts Economies
Fair trade places restrictions on Jamaica to sell only 970 gallons of ice cream per year in the U.S., Mexico to sell only 35,292 bras per year, Poland to ship only 350 tons of alloy tool steel, and Haiti to sell only 8,030 tons of sugar. Fair trade allows the U.S. Congress to impose over 8,000 taxes on imports, with tariffs reaching as high as 458 percent.
Fair trade is the government allegedly protecting its economy through restrictive policies. Yet trade barriers actually damage the economy, un...
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a. Despite the ineffectiveness of protectionism, some argue it is ethical because it protects the jobs of some citizens.
b. Protectionism is unethical because it
i. violates individual rights
ii. interferes with the ability to freely contract
iii. harms the poor
iv. Creates unequal level for contracting parties
c. Work of the World Trade Organization
a. Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII
b. Populorum Progessio by Pope Paul VI
c. Sollicitude Rei Socialis by Pope John Paul II
d. Protectionism and Morality by Robery W. McGee
e. The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy by Thomas E. Wood
f. Intervention by the Holy See at the 6th Ministerial Conference of the WTO Address of H.E. Mons. Silvano Tomasi
g. Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Participants in the Thirty-Third Conference of the United Nations
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