Minnesota businesses, workers, and elected officials are all working to learn more about the massive Pacific trade agreement reached by negotiators from 12 countries Monday.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the largest regional trade pact in history, the New York Times says. The 12 nations involved in the agreement announced in Atlanta Monday – including Japan, Australia, and Canada – comprise 40 percent of the world's economy.

While five years of negotiations leading to the deal are now over, the BBC notes that the approval process in each of the 12 countries is only beginning.

The U.S. Trade Representative says the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will lower barriers to commerce while raising standards for workers and the environment.

What does it mean for Minnesota?

That depends upon whom you ask, although many agree it will take time to sort through the agreement.

Optimism about farm markets

One of the world's largest agribusinesses, Twin Cities-based Cargill, said in a statement that the TPP has the potential to create a more prosperous and food secure world.

“We believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow food to move more freely across borders from places of plenty to places of need, which benefits farmers and consumers around the world,” said Cargill chairman and CEO David MacLennan.

The Star Tribune reports the executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association expects the agreement would make it easier for the state's poultry to reach new markets.

During the talks that produced the TPP, the Business Roundtable called the partnership an opportunity for Minnesota to strengthen its trade relationships.

Skepticism about labor standards

The Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition is part of a campaign calling for the text of the trade agreement to be released to the public, Workday Minnesota reports, noting that until now even elected officials have had access only to what's been leaked from the talks.

The Coalition has expressed doubts about whether the agreement will protect workers, expecting it will instead favor large businesses.

Minnesotans in Washington

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, a Democrat who represents northeastern and central Minnesota in the House, quickly came out against the TPP.

In a statement, Nolan said he's been in weekly classified briefings about the talks for the last two years and said it’s "clear to me that there are no significant protections for American manufacturers and workers – for their wages, pensions and health care – or for our economy or our environment."

As for others in Minnesota's congressional delegation, the Star Tribune reports several said – either directly or through others – that it will take time to scrutinize the agreement.

Democrat Keith Ellison has criticized the deal as a job killer, while Republicans John Kline and Erik Paulsen are optimistic it will mean more business for the state's manufacturers and farmers, the newspaper reports.

Next Up

st. paul homicide - 30 block of Winnipeg Avenue West

St. Paul man arrested after calling police to report he killed his wife

The man was outside the police station when he called 911.


Highly contagious rabbit disease detected for first time in MN

Two indoor rabbits "died suddenly and inexplicably" from the disease earlier this month.

Salted Nut Roll

New seasonal varieties of the Salted Nut Roll have arrived

There will never be enough pumpkin spice to satisfy the world.

covid-19, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, September 28

The newest information provided by the Minnesota Department of Health.

police lights

Minnesota man charged after 3-hour standoff with police on I-94 in Wisconsin

Law enforcement used tear gas on him in an effort to get him out of the vehicle.

Pamela Espeland (1)

Beloved MinnPost writer who amplified MN arts scene dies suddenly

The arts community is remembering her impact and mourning her death.

Abbey Piner

Missing Aitkin County woman may be in St. Paul area

Law enforcement are asking for the public's help in finding her.

box elder bugs

The boxelder bug invasion has commenced in Minnesota

They love to cluster in sunny and warm locations.

chaska school fight

Fight breaks out over mask policy at Eastern Carver County School Board meeting

The district on Monday updated its mask policy to require them for all students.

Bemidji City Hall

Public's help sought after shooting kills father of five girls

The father of five girls was fatally shot in early September.

Screen Shot 2021-09-28 at 7.21.37 AM

Driver killed in Fridley crash that cut his car in half

The victim is a 29-year-old man from Wisconsin.