5 Reasons Why I think Protectionism Will Hurt Fair Trade

1. Trade protectionism will reduce overall trade between countries, and the poorest countries often rely heavily on export.

2. Trade protectionism will force some businesses to find ways to reduce cost, hence putting downward pressure on wages especially in countries where labour law is non-existent or non-enforced.

3. Trade protectionism will encourage consumers to think only of fair treatment of their fellow countrymen instead of fair treatment of all workers.

4. Trade protectionism will encourage businesses to withdraw from overseas production, some of which have taken significant positive steps towards fair trade practices in recent years.

5. Trade protectionism will make importing of fair trade products more expensive, hence halting the growth of the fair trade movement and hurting the small businesses that try to make a positive impact through fair trade.

What’s harder than running a half marathon?

I recently ran my first half marathon for Lifeline. I completed it in 2 hours and 17 minutes. You know what’s harder than running a half marathon? Stop snacking, and watching Trump win.

Honestly though, I think we all saw it coming, but we didn’t want to believe it. If I am a cynic, I would say that compassion is dead. Brexit, Trump, what’s next? 2017 German election may well fall into the hands of far-right Alternative for Germany. Meanwhile, back at home, MPs are debating whether asylum seekers who arrive by boat should be banned from ever applying for Australian visas. Is compassion dead?

I don’t believe so.

I don’t believe compassion is dead, because I see it every day in every customer of Oz Fair Trade, in every random act of kindness, in every charity event, and in every person that I have met.

Rather than blaming the people who voted for Brexit or for Trump, or getting all gloomy and doomy, how about we try to understand them? If they had job security and decent minimum wages, would they have rejected immigration?

“Beneath the shouting, there’s suffering. Beneath the anger, fear. Beneath the threats, broken hearts. Start there and we might get somewhere.” – Parker Palmer

If Democrats had a more inspiring presidential candidate, would the outcome have been different? If Washington had not been ruled by bankers and elites, would ordinary working Americans have be less change-hungry? If the US electoral system had been different, would a third party have won?

Some may call Trump win a “disaster”. I think what’s really worrying is not what one man can do but what division can do to humanity.

“Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness” – Chinese proverb

We can all keep alight the candle of compassion.