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.
Steve Suppan has been a policy analyst at IATP since 1994. Much of Steve's work is to explain U.S. agriculture, trade and food safety policy to foreign governments and nongovernmental organizations, especially farmer organizations. This work has taken him to about 35 countries, most recently Costa Rica, South Africa and Mexico. Steve has also represented IATP at meetings of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He was the NGO liaison to the U.S. government for the World Food Summit +5 in 2002. Steve was a lead author in the global report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, a multi-stakeholder project whose executive summary was approved by 58 governments on April 12, 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Suppan has a Ph.D. in comparative literature and taught in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He also studied philosophy at the University of Vienna.