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

Document Library

Format: 2014

September 2013

From Dumping to Volatility: The Lessons of Trade Liberalization for Agriculture

Posted September 19, 2013

Agriculture, Trade, Free trade agreements, United Nations

This piece is an IATP commentary originally published in the UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2013. The weakening of agricultural, financial and trade rules has contributed significantly to increased volatility and corporate concentration in agricultural markets. This increased volatility is harmful to long-term...

Agriculture on the Road to Bali

Posted September 10, 2013

Agriculture, World Trade Organization (WTO)

There are several proposals on the WTO’s agricultural negotiations table, but the dominant discussion ahead of December’s Bali Ministerial Conference is the November 2012 proposal put forward by 46 countries under the auspices of the G-33. The G-33 is a group of developing countries united by primarily...

Enbridge Phase 2 Certificate of Need

Posted September 1, 2013


August 2013

Minnesota schools set to expand fresh, local offerings during Farm to School Month

Posted August 30, 2013

Local Food, Agriculture, Food

Minneapolis – With another school year set to begin, exciting things are in store for school cafeterias. September is Farm to School Month in Minnesota, designed to highlight partnerships between school districts and local farmers that bring fresh, local food to K-12 students and children in childcare. Weekly...

U.S. Farm Politics and the Common Agricultural Policy

Posted August 16, 2013

Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), Farm Bill

An article published in December of 1987 by the Catholic Institute for International Relations of the need for the European Commission to take into account potential U.S. policy options in order to successfully reform the Common Agricultural Policy.

Sustainability Criteria, Biofuel Policy and Trade Rules

Posted August 14, 2013

Trade, Energy

Introduction Biofuels, the programs that support them, and the impacts of these policies on climate, environment and society have been subject to some of the most intense scrutiny of any areas of public policy in recent years. Public support for biofuels production has generated considerable controversy for a variety...

Tax dollars subsidizing destruction of Upper Mississippi River

Posted August 13, 2013


Minneapolis  –  The locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River have significantly damaged—and continue to degrade—the Mississippi River. This infrastructure is the most heavily subsidized of all the private transportation industries and it is one of the most environmentally damaging...

The Villarceaux Declaration

Posted August 8, 2013


The following is a declaration presenting the work done by young food professionals from 24 European countries in a week-long Eating City Summer Campus at La Bergerie de Villarceaux, France. It is an outcome of discussions, presentations, working groups and general conversation.   All of us agreed on the strong...

July 2013

Understanding Dumping: How U.S. crop prices hurt the world's farmers

Posted July 18, 2013

Food security, Free trade agreements

Introduction to the impact of dumping below cost of production U.S. commodities on farmers in the developing world.

Letter on cross-border OTC derivatives regulation

Posted July 17, 2013

Finance, Market speculation

We, the undersigned, are writing to express our concern at the lack of progress in developing workable cross-border rules as part of reforms of the OTC derivatives market. We are already starting to see evidence of fragmentation in this vitally important financial market, as a result of lack of regulatory coordination...

Chemicals and Obesity

Posted July 8, 2013

Food and Health, Health, Obesity

While diet and exercise are important factors in the obesity epidemic, an emerging body of science demonstrates that exposures to chemical obesogens may be important contributors. A number of chemicals known to disrupt hormones also appear to affect the size and number of fat cells or hormones that regulate appetite...

Letter to President Barack Obama, President Juan Manuel Barroso and President Herman Van Rompuy regarding the TTIP

Posted July 8, 2013

Trade, Free trade agreements

July 8, 2013 Dear President Barack Obama, President Juan Manuel Barroso, and President Herman Van Rompuy: The United States and the European Union are set to begin negotiations of a “trade” and investment agreement, a proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), also referred to as a...

European Commission's initial position papers on TTIP

Posted July 2, 2013

Trade, Free trade agreements

Initial position papers on: Regulatory Issues - Cross-Cutting Disciplines and Institutional Provisions; Technical Barriers to Trade; Regulatory Cluster: automotive sector, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; Sanitary and Phytosanitary issues (SPS); Trade and Sustainable Development; Anti-Trust & Mergers, Government...

June 2013

Trade deal to undermine health, environmental standards

Posted June 26, 2013

Trade, Environment, Food safety, Free trade agreements, GMO

Closed-door trade negotiations on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), set to begin July 8, could significantly lower health and environmental protections as EU and U.S. negotiators work to “harmonize” standards as part of the agreement. A group of 34 family farm, consumer, faith,...

Group letter to Ambassador Michael Froman and Commissioner Karel De Gucht regarding the TTIP

Posted June 26, 2013

Trade, Free trade agreements

Dear Ambassador Froman and Commissioner De Gucht, We write to you as representatives of family farm, consumers, faith, public health, development and environment organizations from the European Union and United States. Our organizations promote fair and sustainable food and farm systems in our communities and nations...

Framing hunger: A Response to the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012

Posted June 20, 2013

Food security

On March 12, 2013, a group of US and Canadian scholars and leaders of organizations addressing hunger submitted to the Director-General José Graziano da Silva of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations a document entitled “Communication for Discussion.” In it, we raised critical...

China, Smithfield and the Global Meat Industry - Slides

Posted June 18, 2013

Agribusiness, Globalization

Slides from the June 18th webinar China, Smithfield and the Global Meat Industry. Video can be found at

Sickeningly Sweet

Posted June 18, 2013

Health, Obesity

Robert H Lustig's slides from the March 18, 2013 webinar Sickly sweet: The science and policy of fructose overconsumption in America. Webinar can be found here: Youtube:

Farm to Childcare program expands to 62 sites across Minnesota

Posted June 17, 2013

Local Food, Farm to Childcare, Food, Health

Minneapolis – Beginning today, childcare centers throughout Minnesota are set to serve healthy, locally grown foods as part of a Farm to Childcare initiative—an innovative program designed in partnership between the Minnesota-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and childcare provider...