JBU Hosts Free Trade or Fair Trade Debate

Siloam Springs, Arkansas (March 12, 2012) — Does free trade or fair trade better help impoverished peoples of the world?

John Brown University will be hosting a debate on the topic – entitled “Free Trade vs. Fair Trade: What Helps the Poor?” – on March 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Berry Performing Arts Center.

Scholars Claude Barfield, Paul Myers, and Victor Claar will present and debate their views on free and fair trade. Dr. James E. Bruce, assistant professor of philosophy at JBU, will moderate the debate. John Brown University welcomes students and community members to attend the free event. The event is sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute.

Paul Myers has served as the president of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) since 2007. Prior to his involvement in the WFTO, Meyers was the CEO of Ten Thousand Villages, one of the largest and oldest fair trade retail networks, spanning the USA and Canada. Since its founding in 1946, Ten Thousand Villages has established 81 stores, a large internet retail operation and an annual program of retail festivals and events.

Claude Barfield, a former consultant to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative and a resident scholar at AEI, researches international trade policy, the World Trade Organization, intellectual property, and science and technology policy. His many books include “SWAP: How Trade Works and Free Trade” and “Sovereignty, Democracy: The Future of the World Trade Organization.”

Dr. Victor Claar is a professor of economics at Henderson State University in Arkansas. His most recent book is entitled “Fair Trade? Its Prospects as a Poverty Solution.” Claar also coauthored “Economics in Christian Perspective: Theory, Policy and Life Choices” and has written for many renowned journals. Claar received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and study at the American University of Armenia in 2006-2007.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare. The AEI seeks to serve leaders and the public through research and education on the most important issues of the day.

John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked first among Southern regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report and is listed as one of America's Best Colleges by Forbes. JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 41 states and 44 countries. JBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.