Trade Justice and the Least-Developed Countries

Tadhg Ó Laoghaire and Thomas R. Wells at the Wiley Online Library:

In this article, we argue that least-developed countries (LDCs) should be treated as a distinct group from developing countries within theories of international justice generally, and theories of trade justice more specifically. While authors within the trade justice literature occasionally make passing reference to LDCs’ entitlement to special favourable treatment from other states, they say little about what form this treatment should take, and how such entitlements relate to the obligations and entitlements of their trade partners, both developed and developing. This oversight is untenable because it overlooks the significantly different needs that LDCs have compared to developing countries with respect to the economic opportunities afforded by international markets. Moreover, by grouping states into the binary categories of developed and developing (or rich and poor), trade justice theorists have ended up obscuring and passing over a fundamental conflict between least-developed and developing countries’ interests, the weighing of which should be central to any complete normative evaluation of the trade regime.

More here.