Odious Debts and International Fair Trade

  • Cristian Dimitriu

Resumen

I argue that one of the most important reasons why international trade has been unfair is that weaker parties in trading negotiations have been illegitimately forced to accept terms of trade that they would not otherwise accept under normal circumstances, and these terms of trade have been harmful for them. Odious debts are at the center of this kind of injustice. Odious debts are debts that are not binding for the citizens of a country, as they were incurred by illegitimate rulers in the name of all the citizens, but used for private purposes, such as personal benefit, or to oppress the population. Despite the fact that these debts are not binding—that is, that they should not be repaid—creditor countries have coerced debtor countries to repay them and, more importantly for the purposes of this article, they have taken advantage of the fact that countries are burdened with these debts by tailoring trade agreements in their favor. They have done so by telling debtor countries that, unless they trade under terms that creditor countries want; non-binding (i.e. odious) debts will be enforced. The resulting state of affairs is not simply a convenient one for creditor countries and an inconvenient one for debtor countries. It is also an immoral one.

Referencias

Aaron James, ‘Global Economic Fairness: Internal Principles’, in C. Carmody, F.J. Garcia, and J. Linarelli (eds.), Global Justice and International Economic Law: Opportunities and Prospects (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Aaron James, Fairness in Practice: a Social Contract for a Global Economy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); ; Aaron James, ‘Distributive Justice without Sovereign Rule: The Case of Trade’, Social Theory and Practice 31 (2005); Matthias Risse, ‘Fairness in trade I: obligations from trading and the Pauper-Labor Argument’, Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (2007), pp. 355-77; Mathias Risse, ‘Fairness in Trade II: Export Subsidies and the Fair Trade Movement’, Philosophy, Politics and Economics 7 (2008): pp. 16-17; Matthias Risse and Gabriel Wollner, ‘Three Images of Trade: on the place of trade in a theory of global justice’, Moral Philosophy and Politics 1 (2014), pp. 201-25; Matthias Risse, On Global Justice (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012); Darrel Moellendorf, “The World Trade Organization and Egalitarian Justice,” Metaphilosophy, 36:1, January 2005, 145-162.Reprinted in Christian Barry and Thomas W. Pogge, eds., Global Institutions and Responsibilities: Achieving Global Justice, Blackwell, 2005, 141-158; D, Miller, “Fair Trade: what does it mean and why does it matter?”. CSSJ Working Papers Series, SJ013, November 2010. http://social-justice.politics.ox.ac.uk/working_papers/materials/SJ013_Miller_Fairtrade.pdf
Publicado
09-01-2019
Cómo citar
Dimitriu, C. (2019). Odious Debts and International Fair Trade. Daimon Revista Internacional De Filosofia, (76), 79-94. https://doi.org/10.6018/daimon/275011
Sección
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