‘Robust’ trade advisory council wins approval at Capitol

MNFTCThe Minnesota Trade Policy Advisory Council is back and, fair-trade advocates believe, better than ever.

The Jobs and Economic Development bill signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton this week included reauthorization of the Trade Policy Advisory Council, which saw its authority “sunset” in 2012, but in a new form – one more inclusive of the groups with a stake in international trade policy.

While previous trade advisory groups have been populated mostly with state agency heads and elected officials, the new council will include appointees from the business community, organized labor, environmental groups and family farmers, as well as a bipartisan collection of legislators.

The Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition, an issue-based umbrella organization of more than 40 labor, family farm, environmental, faith and social justice groups statewide, praised the reauthorization in a statement released today.

“International trade negotiations are occurring constantly, and they have a huge effect on Minnesota’s economy and quality of life,” said Josh Wise, director of the fair trade coalition. “It is important that we analyze how these talks will affect us here in Minnesota, and make our voice, as a state, heard in the negotiations.”

[Click here to read more on the impact free trade agreements have had on Minnesota’s economy.]

The TPAC is required to meet at least once a year and report back to the governor and Legislature about potential U.S. trade agreements and their impact on the state’s economy. The council also may offer draft legislation to implement the recommendations.

Kera Peterson, chair of the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition and an organizer for the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, called the council “a real opportunity for Minnesotans to understand how they are being affected by globalization, and how we can create our place in the global economy.

“Trade Agreements like NAFTA and the Korea FTA have proved not to be in best interest of Minnesotans. It’s important that we make our voice heard on pending deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and any agreement with the European Union. Minnesota has a nation leading quality of life, and its important that that not be undermined by unfair trade practices.”


  1. […] Click here to read more about the reauthorized Trade Policy Advisory Council. […]

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