The Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University presents Rodney North, co-owner of the largest fair trade enterprise in North America, and Donald Boudreaux, professor of Economics at George Mason University, discussing “Trade-Offs: Can Free Be Fair?”

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, a Ford Hall Forum Board member, will moderate the discussion, to take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28, 2011, in the Moot Court Room of Suffolk Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston.

North, communications consultant and former board chair of Equal Exchange, and Boudreaux, the former president of libertarian think tank Foundation for Economic Education, will discuss whether free trade can be fair and vice versa.

They will look at whether standards affecting trade -- from subsidies to tariffs to quotas -- are effective or even sensible. The discussion will address the effects of a chosen trade method on international borders, environmental and labor regulations, and bureaucracy. It will ask whether there can be a compromise that combines partnership and transparency with unfettered commerce.

The Ford Hall Forum is the nation’s oldest free public lecture series. It promotes freedom of speech and fosters an informed and effective citizenry through events that illuminate the key issues facing our society.