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.
The 2012 drought has resulted in one-half of all of U.S. counties being declared federal disaster areas, a number that is likely to grow as the drought worsens. More than 80 percent of corn and soybean crops are in drought-affected areas. Crop losses for 2012 are likely to be catastrophic, and economists are predicting that the resulting crop insurance payouts to those farmers that hold policies could top $40 billion.
Dairy and livestock farmers who lack such insurance policies are faced with impossible choices between buying increasingly expensive and scarce feed, or selling off their livelihood into a sinking, captive market. Food prices are likely to spike in the coming months as speculation and price gouging take hold of the market.
The drought doesn’t respect borders. Countries around the world are experiencing the same extreme weather patterns. The force of Mother Nature combined with global warming brought on by industry has called the bluff of half-hearted responses to climate change. The time for change is past due.