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The Globalization Paradox Essay

1333 words - 6 pages

The discussion would revolve around this continuing debate on globalization which is, without a doubt, the controlling capitalistic trend in the world today. But there is a hotly debated contest on how globalization should continue. This is a contest between free trade and fair trade. Free trade and fair trade have been in constant tug of war pulled from each side by economists and politicians. Both carry an ideological approach to what world commercial activity should be. But it is also flavoured by nationalism and politics because the issue directly stirs the potential economic power of its participants whether it is a developed or a third-world country. It is not surprising then that this debate is rife with vicious arguments from each side. In this paper, we would create a case for fair trade as better form of globalization with the rationale that free trade globalization has only made global markets become reckless and abusive.
Proponents of free trade argue that trade between countries should be eliminated of barriers and preferential policies, particularly those that favour countries or specific industries. It is their belief that a business would fail or succeed depending on how it can adapt on a free and open market, without having to depend on special government protections that protect industries or workers. Thus, proponents want to eliminate subsidies and tariffs and are opposing regulations that force companies to pay extra just to do business in foreign markets.
Advocates of fair trade, on the other hand, make working conditions a priority in establishing trade relations. For instance, a fair trade advocate will want to demand an increase of wage rates of workers to improve their livelihood. This is especially true when developed markets like China are a haven for international companies because the country provide cheap labor. Fair traders then want governments and companies to regulate trade to make sure that workers would receive the fair level of compensation and be able to work on a safe environment. Thus, by “fair trade”, the terms specifically refers to polices concerned with proper living wage. As a result, fair traded products are usually about market prices because local and small-hold farmers often cannot compete on price with large-scale factory farms (Gillikin, 2011).
Free trade is well and good if we are living in an ideal world where all things are fair. But in reality trade, as what happens now, is fundamentally unfair. Rich country workers see their jobs go out to China where workers are paid at the fraction of the original job and at poor and abusive working conditions. So instead of focusing on freeing trade, what the world needs now is to focus on the trade’s inherent unfairness.
In the continuing debate between fair and free trade, we would at least limit the arguments by those submitted by Ngaire Woods from Oxford University, who is a proponent of fairness, Dani Rodrick, author of Has...

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