Local farmers looking to benefit from recent trade deals

Local News

ILLINOIS (WTVO) — The long awaited U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement looks to get the okay from leaders by the end of January.

Farmers and manufacturers look to benefit from the agreement.

A recent deal with China also has good news for farmers.

The “phase one” agreement with China calls on the country to purchase $50 billion in U.S. agricultural goods.

“2019 was a tough year for our family farmer,” said 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.

With recent trade agreements farmers are encouraged about 2020.

“Our farmers here locally, just as well as American farmers are eager to get back to doing business globally,” said Winnebago, Boone Farm Bureau Manager, Ann Marie Cain.

She says the deal will help since the agreement updates protections for farmers.

“Any efforts to restore our ability to be competitive with China and world trading partners is definitely good news and positive for our farmers,” Cain said.

Bustos said it will give local farmers peace of mind.

“This is a good step in certainty to offer to our family farmers,” she said. “What this trade agreement does is it offers some certainty, and it gets us back to being able to trade freely with again some of our biggest agriculture trading partners.”

In 2018 Winnebago County produced over 16 million bushels of corn and 3 million bushels of soybeans.

“The majority of our corn and beans is exported here in the State of Illinois, so that definitely will benefit the state of Illinois and the farmers in it,” Cain explained. “Anytime we can open our markets and improve our markets or restore some of our markets is definitely good for our farmers.”

Cain says local farmers prefer to make a living off of their labor and not government aid.

“We continue to encourage our current administration and build relationships and strengthen our trade agreements,” Cain added.

Canada is expected to ratify the USMCA at the end of January.

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