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 iatp.org/tradesecrets.

Op-ed/Commentaries

Trading away localization in TTIP

Published May 5, 2014

Karen Hansen-Kuhn

All over the world, communities and nations are developing new ways to rebuild local economies. In the U.S. and Europe, a growing number of people are taking a look at the processed foods at the supermarket and opting instead for healthier choices: foods that are local, in season and grown with fewer pesticides. In...

The USDA plan for deregulating and privatizing meat and poultry inspection: A short history

Published December 13, 2013

Minneapolis, December 5, 2013 — In early November, the European Commission (EC) posted on its website a report evaluating Australian meat inspection. The upshot of the report will be to ban imports of Australian beef, pork and lamb because Australia allows companies producing meat products to also inspect them...

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

Published September 19, 2013

Ben Lilliston
Karen Hansen-Kuhn

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...

U.S. Farm Politics and the Common Agricultural Policy

Published August 16, 2013

Mark Ritchie

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.

Back to the future: taxing finance

Published April 23, 2013

Dr. Steve Suppan

In this era of budgetary obsession, we need to make sure everyone pays their fair share, even the well-protected financial services industry. Reinstating a small tax on financial trades would not only generate significant revenue, it would help stabilize markets that have caused so much turmoil in recent years. Such a...

Free trade versus food democracy

Published April 17, 2013

Jim Harkness

April 17, 2013 – There has been a quiet revolution going around the world, as communities and nations retake control of their food systems. In the U.S., more people are taking a look at processed foods at the supermarket and opting instead for healthier choices, grown locally with fewer pesticides. People in...

The end of the Farm Bill?

Published February 4, 2013

Jim Harkness

February 4, 2013 – “There is absolutely no way to explain this other than agriculture is just not a priority,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on the Senate Floor on New Year’s Day. She was describing the bare-bones Farm Bill extension agreed to as part of the stop-...

A year of squandered opportunities to resolve the food crisis

Published January 31, 2013

Sophia Murphy

January 31, 2013 – A drought in the United States last year sparked the third price spike in international food commodity markets in the last five years, again pushing maize, wheat, and soybean prices to record highs. Why are we still seeing such volatility six years after prices shot up in 2007? Have global...

Crisis or opportunity in the multilateral trade system?

Published October 15, 2012

Sophia Murphy

October 10, 2012 – It was fascinating to attend the WTO public symposium at the end of September, an event framed around the question: “Is Multilateralism in Crisis?” The question invited far more yesses than noes, although there was a healthy sprinkling of determined optimists in the crowd as well....

Global Agricultural Policy in an Age of Land Grabs

Published April 12, 2012

Jim Harkness

LONDON, MAR. 5, 2012 – Last year, I was invited to speak on a panel at the European Parliament with Professor Lang to provide some international perspective for a discussion they were having about the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. I was specifically asked to comment on how the issues and proposals...