At a press conference at ADM’s ethanol production facility in Peoria today, Senator Kirk described his support of trade for Illinois farmers and the entire Illinois economy.
“To me, it's pretty simple. The global economy has never been more intertwined and competitive than it stands today. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, every $1 billion of U.S. agricultural exports requires the support of about 6,600 workers throughout the economy. This means 52,000 jobs are generated by Illinois' agriculture export activity,” he said in a written statement.
“Global demand will not change, so it's just a matter of who will provide the supply. If we don't ship American farm commodities overseas, we're going to be shipping American jobs.”
The press conference was in response to recent debate on the Trade Promotion Authority bill, passed out of the Senate on Friday. A similar bill expects debate and passage in the House in early June.
For a background on why the Trade Promotion Authority legislation is important to trade and opening additional export markets, click here.
“Illinois farmers depend on a vibrant export market to create demand for their products and increase commodity prices to a level where they can support their families,” said Ted
Mottaz, Elmwood, IL farmer and District VIII Director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association.
“U.S. agriculture is a trade champion, one of the few U.S. goods-producing sectors that consistently returns a significant trade surplus. In 2014, U.S. agricultural exports of $155 billion generated 20 percent of farm income and supported more than a million American jobs,” he said.
Previous trade negotiations have been huge success stories for agriculture. In 2014, Colombia bought 166 million bushels of U.S. corn worth about $900 million – a five-fold increase from the 21 million bushels worth $180 million the country bought in 2011.
*Check back tomorrow for a summary of statements on the Waters of the U.S. ruling from various leaders in agriculture and government!