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June 30, 2009

Fair Trader Al Franken Certified Victor of MN Senate Race

The Minnesota Supreme Court just certified Al Franken as the winner of the long-disputed Senate race in that state.

Franken campaigned on a strong fair-trade platform, as this video shows.

That was not the end of Franken's fair-trade positioning:

  • In response to a Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition questionnaire, Franken committed to oppose the WTO Doha Round and Colombia, Panama and Korea FTAs, support the renegotiation of NAFTA and replacement of Fast Track, and oppose any trade agreement that includes NAFTA-style investor rights, among other commitments. 
  • His campaign website said: “I favor a balanced approach to trade that recognizes the importance of opening up markets for our products but protects our farmers as well as our workers, our consumers, and our values. Frankly, the Bush-Coleman approach gives away too much for too little – CAFTA, for example, sold out Minnesota's entire sugar industry for access to six markets with the combined size of Columbus, Ohio. I will support fair trade agreements, but I won't sell out our farmers in a bad deal like CAFTA.” 
  • He also said: “we should re-examine the economic and trade policies that have contributed to illegal immigration. Working to improve economic conditions in Mexico, which we’ve tried and failed to do with NAFTA, could help reduce the incentive many have to attempt to enter the United States illegally.” 
  • In their first debate, The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that, “Franken, who often called the sitting senator ‘Norm’ through the debate, said Coleman takes huge contributions from the oil industry, works in lockstep with President Bush and left farmers behind by voting for the Central American Free Trade Agreement in 2005. ‘That was not a good deal,’ Franken said of CAFTA.”

For our complete analysis of the role of fair trade in the 2006 and 2008 elections, when 72 fair-traders displaced anti-fair traders, go to the politics section of our website.

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