On behalf of corn farmers in Illinois, I would like to thank Congressman Mike Bost for his recent vote in support of free trade.
The Trade Promotion Authority vote wasn’t about politics and it wasn’t about Congress or the president. Congressman Bost’s vote was a vote in support of more jobs, better pay and a level playing field for U.S. products in the world market.
Farmers are currently facing corn prices that are below the cost of production. For the non-farmer readers, that means I can expect to lose money on every acre of corn that I plant. Opening up trade markets increases demand for my corn, increases the price I can expect to receive for my corn, and helps me feed my family next year.
Trade doesn’t just matter to farmers though. One in five American jobs are supported by trade. Many more Illinois jobs are supported by the agricultural industry. If trade with other countries increases, jobs increase and the Illinois economy is bolstered.
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Sadly, the TPA vote was meaningless without a positive Trade Adjustment Assistance vote that failed on the same day. I’m happy to see Congressman Bost made the right decision to support trade and I eagerly await a second vote that, if passed, would make all these benefits a reality for the American people.
Kenneth Hartman Jr., president,
Illinois Corn Growers Assocication