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.
Jim Kleinschmit directs IATP's Climate and Energy Initiatives, which focuses on strengthening the link between rural economic policy and local, democratic decision-making in order to aid communities in creating and retaining the wealth that comes from their natural and human resources. Jim grew up milking cows and learning about sustainable agriculture on his family's farm in Nebraska. Before joining IATP in 1995, he worked in the Baltic States and Russia, where he promoted sustainable rural development. At IATP, Jim has worked on a wide array of issues, including sustainable agriculture; water quality and quantity; biofuels, bioenergy and bioplastics; climate change; and rural development strategies. He has an M.A. from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington-Seattle, and a B.A. from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. In addition to his work at IATP, Jim is a member of several organizational boards and steering committees, including Rural Advantage, the Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative and the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance.