FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Lindsay Mitchell
BLOOMINGTON, Ill – Today, Illinois corn farmers are happily thanking the members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation who voted “yes” for increased market opportunities and economic stimulus through free trade with Colombia, Korea and Panama.
Last night, the House and Senate passed the Colombia, Korea, and Panama Free Trade Agreements which collectively will provide immediate access to Colombia’s market for 2.1 million metric tons of corn at zero percent duty, and a significant increase in meat exports to Korea. Statistics show passage of the three FTAs could create 250,000 American jobs and add an additional $13 billion annually in exports. The United States continues to be the largest producer and exporter of corn in the world, exporting 50.4 million metric tons last year.
“The Illinois Corn Growers Association is very appreciative of all the members of the Illinois Delegation that voted in favor of the Colombia, Korea, and Panama Free Trade Agreements. For years, these agreements have waited on the President’s desk, while agriculture and other American industries have paid a price in lost market opportunities and economic activity. Finally, our President and our Congress have signaled the importance of free trade and have voted accordingly,” said ICGA President Jim Reed.
Thank you to Senators Durbin and Kirk, as well as Congressmen Biggert, Davis, Dold, Hultgren, Johnson, Kinzinger, Manzullo, Quigley, Roskam, Schilling, Schock, Shimkus, and Walsh for their votes in favor of some or all of the Free Trade Agreements listed.