Letters to the Editor

Importance of trade

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus’ strong support of agriculture was proven again by his recent vote of support for Trade Promotion Authority. Also known as TPA and Fast Track, it enables the United States Trade Representative to negotiate in good faith with other countries on trade agreements. Congress votes on the final agreement.

The importance of good trading partners and strong trade agreements hits home for me as a grain farmer. The U.S. is the world’s largest producer and exporter of both corn and soybeans.

Corn exports make the largest net contribution to the U.S. agricultural trade business. By the late 2000s, the value of oilseed and product exports, including soybeans, totaled more than $20 billion. With all the talk in Washington about growing the economy, trade can accomplish it.

Thank you, Rep. John Shimkus for your leadership and your willingness to vote yes. Trade promotes exports and helps family farms like mine.

Chris Otten

St. Libory