Are the new forms of trade political?

Things like fair trade and direct trade* seem to appeal to people with money for luxuries but also a sense of obligation to underprivileged workers.
Are these the kinds of campaigns that will end up as planks in party platforms?

[*“Direct trade — which also means intensive communication between the buyer and the grower — stands in stark contrast to the old (but still prevalent) model, in which international conglomerates buy coffee by the steamer ship, through brokers, for the lowest price the commodity market will bear.” ]

Sure they are. But I don’t see anything necessarily wrong with that - people can trade on many different terms, and market on many different terms. If a new market opens up for a farmer, he can certainly use it.

Fair trade is going to appeal more to Democrats, since it respects the producer and end user more than the trader. Free trade is the Republican thing that really only helps huge conglomerates. When it gets support from both parties it’s not because it’s good for the US, but good for donors. I’m fairly cynical on that point, being an independent. Cast them all out, that’s my motto.

Perhaps, but true fair trade doesn’t need to involve the government. If companies want to set up fair trade systems that essentially let me pay more in order to assuage my conscience, then that’s the free market at work. When government starts enforcing this type of deal, however, that’s when it becomes a problem.

You forgot to mention that free trade also helps consumers and workers. When a country lowers trade barriers those who produce products can more easily sell them. Consumers have these products at a lower price. High trade barriers or politically-instituted trade barriers hurt the many in order to benefit the few.

This statement is so simplistic I cannot begin to list the ways it fails to describe real-world events. But I’ll start out by saying that it conflicts directly with my statement above, and I’m pretty Republican.

If someone can get a better price selling his coffee beans to a fair trade buyer and not Folger’s, I have no problem with his doing so. I have issues if such structures become unsustainable because of the pricing, but this is a market thing, not a political thing. In any case, I’d sooner leave developments like this to the market rather than to a political sphere that in the end is less predictable and forgiving.