Is Fairer Trade Compatible with Freer Markets?

Cosponsored by the Government of the Netherlands,
the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Financial Times

Conference Videos coming soon.

Thursday, March 4 and Friday, March 5, 2010

Lindner Commons, Suite 602
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20052

March 4, 2010

6:00-7:30 PM – Evening Keynote
Michael Conroy, PhD (Chair of the Board, TransFair)
Fairer Trade and Freer Trade: The Evolution of Strategies That Work for the Poor

March 5, 2010

8:00-8:30 AM Continental breakfast


8:30 – 9:00 AM
Introductory Remarks: Steve Suranovic (GWU-IIEP)
“Defining Fairness in Trade”
A description of the conference and an overview of what we mean by fairness as applied in international trade discussions. Do we mean fairness of outcome? Do we mean fairness of process, or both? PPT


9:00 – 10:30 AM – Fairness in the Real World
There is a lot of talk about fair trade, but we really know little about what policymakers, academics, and consumers are concerned about when they think about fair trade. This panel will focus on perceptions of fair trade among these groups and how these perceptions play out in global and national markets.
Michael Hiscox (Harvard) PPT
Shareen Hertel (UConn) Paper and PPT
Doug Nelson (Tulane and Univ. of Nottingham) Paper and PPT
Sean Ehrlich (Florida State) Paper


10:40-11:00 AM Coffee Break


11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – Consumers and Fair Trade
Is there sufficient consumer demand for products carrying social/eco labels signaling they are fairly produced? Are fair trade strategies workable and sustainable? How do public policies channel or distort fairer trade?
Daniel Stokes (TransFair FLO) Paper
Kelly Johnston (Vice President – Government Affairs, Campbells Soup) Paper
Eric Biel (Managing Director, Corporate Responsibility, Burston Marsteller)
Kim Elliott (CGD)


12:30 – 2:00 PM – Luncheon Keynote – “Making Markets Work for the Poor”
Monika Weber-Fahr
 (Global Business Line Leader, IFC, World Bank) PPT
Moderated by: James Politi (The Financial Times)


2:00 – 3:30 PM – Producers and Fair Trade
How can market actors work to achieve fairer outcomes for workers? Do such strategies yield more productive workers? How do they affect market share and profits?
David Berdish (Ford Motor Company) Paper
Rene Van Hell (Deputy Director for Trade Politics and Globalization in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Holland) Paper
Bama Athreya (International Labor Rights Forum)
Charita Castro (Division Chief for Operations, Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs) PPT P D F icon


3:30 – 3:45 PM – Coffee Break


3:45 – 4:30 PM – So, What do you think? Are Freer Markets Compatible with Fairer Outcomes for the Poor?
Prof. Susan Aaronson (GWU) will ask audience questions focused on the Conference objective, “Are Free Markets Compatible with Fairer Outcomes for the poor?”
Will fair trade strategies yield fairer outcomes?
Will they distort trade?
Will consumers respond? If so, what are the best strategies to achieve fairer trade?

4:30 – 4:45 PM – Conclusions
Prof. Steve Suranovic (GWU) will summarize the conference findings: What do we think about these options? What is the future of fairer trade strategies?

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