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After briefly surveying the mission and principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO), I argue that international trade may be assessed from the perspective of justice, and that the correct account of justice for these purposes is egalitarian in fundamental principle. I then consider the merits of the WTO's basic commitment to liberalized trade in the light of egalitarian considerations. Finally, I discuss the justice of several WTO policies. While noting the complexity of the empirical issues relating to the effects of trade institutions and policies, I conclude that egalitarians have reasons to object to certain of the principles and policies of the WTO.

Keywords: World Trade Organization; associations; egalitarianism; free trade; justice; trade tariffs

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9973.2005.00360.x

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-8142, USA , Email: dmoellen@mail.sdsu.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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