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January 25, 2011

Will Obama's trade agenda undermine global food security?

During tonight's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama is expected to tout an expanded trade liberalization agenda as part of his plan to generate more U.S. jobs. But does this push to open up markets square with the Administration's plan to address global food security?

President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative promotes ending global hunger by bolstering food production by small-scale farmers—especially women, through programs led by developing countries. While the U.S. development agenda emphasizes increasing local food production in developing countries, the trade agenda pushes in the opposite direction, aiming to double U.S. exports in the next five years. In a new paper, IATP’s Karen Hansen-Kuhn documents how the Obama Administration’s agricultural trade policy is very much a continuation of past policies—policies that have undermined small-scale farmers and global food security. The paper identifies much needed reforms in U.S. trade policy to recognize current challenges associated with food security and climate disruptions. You can read the full paper here.

Ben Lilliston

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Comments

Alicia Farag

Thanks for the great article.

There is a new petition at change.org to send letters to Senators and Representatives about the next farm bill. The petition specifically focuses on "tied" foreign aid that requires food to be shipped from the US. Check it out at:

http://www.change.org/petitions/reduce-the-waste-of-us-foreign-aid

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