Action Alert

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.

Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to

Shiney Varghese

Senior Policy Analyst for Water, Agroecology and Gloabal Governance

Trade and Global Governance
Telephone (612) 870-3471
Email Shiney

Shiney Varghese leads IATP's work on global water policy, focusing on the water crisis, its impact on water and food security, and possible local solutions that emphasize equity, environmental justice and sustainability. Currently, she examines the implications of GATS/WTO, water sector liberalization, and industrial agriculture for access to water. Since 2001 she has been the co-chair of the UNCSD fresh water caucus, the primary civil society voice on water at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Shiney has been working with IATP since 2001. Before moving to United States in 1998, she worked in India on social and environmental issues for more than a decade with indigenous groups, civil society organizations and international groups such as Oxfam. She has presented and published works on the environment, gender and human rights. Shiney grew up on a farm in South Indian state of Kerala, and after high school moved to Gujarat. She is a graduate of the Institute of Rural Management, India, and has a master's in development from the Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands. Shiney was a visiting fellow at the Agrarian Studies program at Yale University in 1997-98.