Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!
The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.
TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.
IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.
In the mid-1980s, family farmers across America were in the fight of their lives. Prices had dropped below the cost of production. Family farmers were told they were inefficient and they had to either get big or get out. Deeply flawed national and international policies were the root cause of the crisis. A galvanizing effort to save the family farm helped spawn the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). In 1986, IATP began documenting the underlying causes of America's rural crisis and proposing policies that would benefit farmers, consumers, rural communities and the environment. Read more about IATP's history
IATP works with organizations around the world to analyze how global trade agreements impact domestic farm and food policies. Alongside a global coalition, IATP advocates for fair trade policies that promote strong health standards, labor and human rights, the environment and, most fundamentally, democratic institutions.
We are developing alternative economic models that include clean sources of energy such as wind power and biofuel that would spur rural development. We're working with landowners to form cooperatives that promote sustainable forest management. We're advocating for green businesses and farms that reduce toxic runoff into the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.
We are working to stop the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture and aquaculture, while limiting the release of mercury and other toxic pollutants that fall onto farmland and enter the food supply. IATP is also monitoring the impact of genetically engineered crops on the environment, human health and farmer income.