Fair Trade: Reform and Realities in the International Trading System

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The landscape of the world economy is changing rapidly, including new and much more powerful roles for the IMF and World Bank, as well as the rapid growth of wider free trade areas in North America and Europe. Current global trading arrangements, however, involve serious obstacles for exporters from the South as well as rivalries between the major economies. This book explores how the international trading system came into existence, the ways in which commodity markers work today, and why the poor countries of the South are facing not free trade, but unfair trade. It traces the stages of the world's economic development which has resulted in a this stark imbalance between North and South, following the chain of trade from crop to shop. The book's lessons are relevant to students, policy makers, and all those interested in a world trading system built on more than market muscle and the profit motive - a system that serves the interests of ordinary people everywhere.