The Senate will soon hear debate, consider amendments, and vote on the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, otherwise known as TPA. Illinois Corn Growers Association President Kenneth Hartman, Jr., requests that you call Senators Durbin and Kirk and ask them to vote yes on TPA.
Senator Dick Durbin: 202-224-2152
Senator Mark Kirk: 202-224-2854
TPA is an important first step towards passage of free trade agreements, and thus, an important first step to open new markets for your corn. For a background on TPA and what it is and isn't, click here.
In your conversation with out Senators, you may consider the following points:
- Illinois farmers have seen record yields for the past couple of years and current market prices are near or below the cost of production. Please help us open markets for your corn to continue to be profitable.
- Free trade agreements produce results: After the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, that country went from the 17th to the fourth largest U.S. corn market last year. This year, U.S. corn is once again on track to capture approximately 95 percent of this 3.6 million metric ton (142 bushel) market.
- International trade, supports 1.7 million Illinois jobs - more than 1 in 5. These trade-related jobs grew 7.5 times faster than total employment from 2004 to 2013 and are at large and small companies, on farms, in factories, and at the headquarters of Illinois' globally engaged firms.
- There are approximately 260 preferential trade agreements worldwide, only 20 involve the Unites States. While U.S. farmers are the most efficient producers in the world, their competitive edge is eroded when less-efficient competitors have preferential agreements.
Please call Senators Durbin and Kirk and ask them to support trade, support farmers, support the Illinois economy and support TPA.