Fairness In The WTO Trading System

Andrew G. Brown and Robert M. Stern

in The Oxford Handbook on The World Trade Organization

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586103
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Fairness In The WTO Trading System

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This article, which explores the fairness of the multilateral trading system as conducted under the rules and procedures of the World Trade Organization (WTO), first provides a brief critique of the utilitarian principle as a guide to fairness in the world trading system. It then offers an alternative conception of fairness in terms of economic equity, focusing on two of its components: equality of opportunity and distributive justice. The article also specifies the conditions of autonomy and reciprocity that have to be met to achieve greater fairness in multilateral trade negotiations. It also comments on aspects of procedural justice that are necessary for the functioning of a fair trading system, substantiating this normative analysis through an assessment of fairness considerations achieved in the Uruguay Round and the implications which they generate for the conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda.

Keywords: fairness; multilateral trading system; World Trade Organization; utilitarian principle; economic equity; equality of opportunity; distributive justice; procedural justice; Uruguay Round; Doha Development Agenda

Article.  9524 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations ; Political Economy

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