This chapter challenges “realist” skepticism about the applicability of fairness in a politically decentralized global economy. It argues that trade relations are not a situation of anarchy that justifies the suspension of obligations of fair play. The trading system is now a relatively well-assured social practice that gives rise to a collective international responsibility to uphold fair terms of economic cooperation. Trade negotiations are subject to broadly legislative responsibilities. These are inconsistent with the dominant understanding of reciprocity in market access concessions. The chapter also challenges views that limit the scope of social justice to coercive relations found only or largely within the domestic state.
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