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Five key takeaways from the TTIP leak for food and farming systems

25 May, 2016 - 18:37
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Karen Hansen-Kuhn Shefali Sharma Dr. Steve Suppan Sharon Anglin Treat File:  2016_05_25_TTIP_LeakAnalysis.pdf The leaked Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts published by Greenpeace Netherlands1 on May 2 provide a crucial snapshot of the status of the trade talks. While a fair amount of information has either leaked or been published by the European Commission on its positions, this is the first detailed information on U.S. TTIP proposals.2 The information is incomplete. Many key chapters, such as those on investment and on energy, remain undisclosed to the public. Annexes that specify exactly...

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USITC ignores TPP food safety costs, overstates benefits for farmers

19 May, 2016 - 15:37
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Dr. Steve Suppan File:  2016_05_18_USITC_Report_PR.pdf Minneapolis – The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has published its assessment of the potential impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the U.S. economy and on the “interests of U.S. consumers,” as required by the Trade Priorities Act. Judging by the agricultural trade deficits of past Free Trade Agreements, the USITC projections of the agreement’s impact on U.S. agriculture exports and imports are likely optimistic. Despite the best efforts of the USITC, it is questionable whether the report analyzes adequately the costs of trade that affect the interests of U.S. consumers. Steve Suppan, Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade...

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Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”): Regulation Automated Trading (“AT”)

11 May, 2016 - 19:37
Language:  English IATP author(s):  IATP File:  CFTC ATS comment 3 16 15 final.pdf The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (“IATP”)2 appreciates this opportunity to comment on the Commission’s proposed regulation for Automated Trading Systems (“ATS”). IATP commented on the Commission’s “Concept Release and System Safeguards for Automated Trading Environments” (“Concept Release”) in December 2013.3 We became interested in the impact of ATS on commodity prices after reading research demonstrating the sustained and high price correlations among agricultural contracts, energy contracts and the S&P E Mini Futures Index of equities resulting from High Frequency Trading (“HFT”). Indeed, as the open interest share of...

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Contribution to Asia Regional Meeting on Agroecology

10 May, 2016 - 19:10
Subtitle:  Supporting Agroecology by Securing and Building on Appropriate Rights Language:  English IATP author(s):  Dr. M. Jahi Chappell Shiney Varghese File:  2016_05_05_Asia_FAO_JC.pdf Minneapolis, May 10, 2016—The Regional Meeting on Agroecology in Asia in November of 2015 marked the culmination of four FAO meetings on Agroecology. These vibrant meetings confirmed a rising tide that we have written about previously: agroecology’s prominence is growing worldwide. The importance of its concepts, tools, knowledge and its emphasis on respect for and collaboration with producers have been borne out by the reception it has seen across FAO meetings on four continents. More...

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Leaked TTIP text shows U.S. negotiators push to lower food safety standards, farmer protections

2 May, 2016 - 17:52
Subtitle:  Corporate fingerprints evident in U.S. trade negotiating positions Language:  English IATP author(s):  Karen Hansen-Kuhn File:  2016_05_02_TTIP_Leak_PR.pdf Minneapolis – Leaked negotiating texts for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) expose the heavy influence of corporate agribusiness in the negotiations, pushing to lower trade restrictions and public health regulations affecting food production, according to analysis of the texts by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). The leaks, released by Greenpeace Netherlands today, provide compelling evidence in support of demands by opponents on both sides of the Atlantic for more democratic and transparent processes in trade...

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Minnesota Farm and Rural Groups Join 150+ Organizations to Ask Congress to Reject TPP, Stand Up for Independent Farmers and Ranchers

27 April, 2016 - 20:18
IATP author(s):  Ben Lilliston Author(s) (external):  Stephanie Porter, Land Stewardship Project File:  2016_04_27_TPP_Concerns_PR.pdf Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has become a divisive issue in the nation’s capital, and criticism intensified after 161 food, farm, faith and rural organizations, including four from Minnesota, sent a letter to Capitol Hill today, urging lawmakers to reject the trade pact. “The main beneficiaries of the TPP are the companies that buy, process and ship raw agricultural commodities, not the farmers who face real risks from rising import competition. TPP imports will compete against U.S. farmers who are facing declining farm prices that are projected to stay low for years,” the organizations wrote. Minnesota...

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Environmental Impact Statement; Introduction of the Products of Biotechnology U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

27 April, 2016 - 19:42
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Dr. Steve Suppan File:  APHIS biotech comment.pdf The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy[i] (IATP) appreciates this opportunity to comment on “reasonable alternatives and possible issues to be evaluated in the environmental impact statement” (Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 24, February 5, 2016, at 6225). IATP understands that the programmatic EIS resulting from the “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement” (Notice) will be consistent with the guidance of the “Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology,” (Coordinated Framework) once it has been revised.[ii] IATP has submitted comments regarding that revision,x` and the following comment also reflects some of our views on the...

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TPP would hurt small scale farmers in developing countries, groups say

18 April, 2016 - 20:45
Subtitle:  Faith, development and sustainable agriculture groups call on Congress to reject TPP Language:  English IATP author(s):  Karen Hansen-Kuhn Author(s) (external):  Chloe Schwabe, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and Stephanie Burgos, Oxfam America File:  2016_04_18_TPP_Concerns_PR.pdf Minneapolis – More than 50 development, religious and sustainable agriculture groups are demanding that Congress reject the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) because of its potential impacts on small scale farmers and food production, especially those in developing countries. The signers include the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Oxfam America,...

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Letter to Congress over concerns about TPP's impact

18 April, 2016 - 17:47
Language:  English Author(s) (external):  IATP, et. al File:  food security tpp letter.pdf April 18, 2016 Dear Member of Congress, We write to you as development, faith-based and sustainable agriculture organizations concerned about the potential impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on food security and sustainable development in the member countries and around the world. Many of us work closely with partners in developing countries and have witnessed the devastating impacts of previous free trade agreements on small-scale farmers and their communities. We urge you to reject the TPP. The TPP would expand many of the worst features of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Under NAFTA, more than two million Mexican farmers were driven from their lands after a dramatic...

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Farm to Childcare Lessons Learned Appendices

11 April, 2016 - 17:26
Language:  English IATP author(s):  IATP File:  All Appendices.pdf Appendices for the Farm to Childcare Highlights and Lessons Learned Related documents:  Farm to Childcare: Highlights and Lessons Learned Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package

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Dairy in Crisis: TPP Dumping on Dairy Farmers

7 April, 2016 - 19:17
Language:  English Author(s) (external):  Erik Katovich File:  2016_04_06_DairyImports_EK.pdf The U.S. dairy industry is currently threatened by a global dairy glut. Worldwide, milk production has increased nearly 40 percent since 1995, with the fastest increase occurring in the last two years.1 In the United States, dairy output exceeded 157 billion pounds in the first three quarters of 2015, and likely broke all-time production records for 2015 as a whole.2 As a result of this oversupply, global dairy prices have plummeted 55 percent since their peak in 2014, and are now at their lowest levels since 2009, according to data from Global Dairy Trade.3 According to Bloomberg Business, in early 2015, dairies in the northeastern United States dumped 31 million pounds of milk when processors...

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Investigation No. TPA‐105‐001:Trans‐Pacific Partnership Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors (and Consumer Interests)

4 April, 2016 - 20:03
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Dr. Steve Suppan File:  US ITC TPP SPS comment 2 16 15.pdf Lisa R. Barton Secretary to the Commission U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) 500 E Street SW Washington, DC Investigation No. TPA‐105‐001:Trans‐Pacific Partnership Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors (and Consumer Interests) Submitted electronically – February 16, 2016 Summary The U.S. agricultural trade performance of so called “Free Trade Agreements” (FTAs) since 1994 has been anemic.  A recent review of six FTAs puts their collective agricultural trade deficit at $1.6 billion.1 U.S. agricultural exports have not delivered prosperity to farmers and ranchers. Instead, they depend Farm Bill subsidies to...

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Rural Engagement Critical to Success of Clean Power Plan, New Report

31 March, 2016 - 15:40
Subtitle:  State Energy Plans Could Support Cleaner Energy, Greater Rural Equity Language:  English IATP author(s):  Tara Ritter File:  2016_03_31_CleanPowerPlan_PR.pdf Minneapolis – The success of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan will depend largely on state-level engagement with rural communities who are most directly affected by shifts in energy production, finds a new report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). The report, “The Clean Power Plan: Opportunities for an Equitable Energy Transition in Rural America” by IATP’s Tara Ritter, concludes that states should actively integrate rural perspectives into their Clean Power Plan compliance plans. In February,...

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The Clean Power Plan

29 March, 2016 - 22:19
Subtitle:  Opportunities for an Equitable Energy Transition in Rural America IATP author(s):  Tara Ritter File:  2016_04_01_CleanPowerPlan_TR.pdf Rural America has long produced much of the nation’s energy. Most power plants, mines, gas drilling sites, wind turbines and dams are in rural areas, as are the farms and forests that provide the materials for biomass production. In many cases, these industries contribute greatly to rural economies. However, a majority of the nation’s energy is consumed in urban areas, where most of the nation’s people and infrastructure are located. This gap between energy production and consumption means that energy policy has very different implications for rural and urban communities. These differences are one reason why the Environmental...

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Following Breadcrumbs: TPP Text Provides Clues to U.S. Positions in TTIP

21 March, 2016 - 19:51
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Karen Hansen-Kuhn File:  2016_03_21_TPPonTTIP_KHK.pdf While civil society groups around the world raise a variety of concerns about the substance of free trade agreements, for the most part they begin their critiques with the lack of transparency. Despite their potentially far-reaching impacts on national economies, public services, and natural resources, trade deals are negotiated in secret, with the resulting agreements submitted for ratification without the possibility of amendments. This is as true in the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as it has been for other bilateral or regional trade deals negotiated by the U.S. or EU. So instead of a robust public debate on the merits of the issues under negotiation,...

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