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About "Economic Development"
When tackling a problem, it is common sense to address the root cause rather than just limiting the side effects. How does this apply to free trade? While fair trade tries to solve the symptoms of poverty, free trade directly addresses the problem by promoting economic development.
The beauty of this case is that you don’t need to pretend that free trade is perfect right now. You can acknowledge that issues (sweatshops, child labor, etc.) exist. Your main point should be that these problems will naturally go away on their own as free trade promotes economic development. Fair trade, on the other hand, cannot solve the root problem of poverty. Instead, the most it can do is try to make poverty more bearable.
This case uses a value of economic development – but any similar values (prosperity, quality of life, general welfare) should work as well. What’s really important are the two contentions; they’re full of evidence supporting the main thesis. It is important that you bring up the evidence in the 2NR as well, and remind the judges that your side has the empirical support behind it.
The affirmative will try to focus the debate on short-term issues with free trade: child labor, sweatshops, low wages, etc. Don’t let them! Bring it back to the big picture. These problems go away as poverty disappears. And which type of trade promotes economic development and reduces poverty? That’s right, free trade does!
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