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Land & Agriculture

USMCA Keeps Illinois Farmers Leading the Pack

2 minute read

President Donald J. Trump was elected to fight for new and better trade deals, opening new markets for our agricultural products and establishing new rules so our manufacturing jobs stay in America. One of those deals he vowed to rework was NAFTA, and he did it. Our trading relationships need to ensure America’s farmers, manufacturers, and small business owners can succeed and compete on the world stage, and USMCA does just that.

Illinois exports more than $27 billion worth of goods to Mexico and Canada, and USMCA will only increase Illinois’ economic power. Illinois’ number one export to Mexico and Canada is machinery, worth over $4.4 billion. John Deere leads the world in farming equipment manufacturing and supports thousands of manufacturing jobs at its East Moline, Illinois facility.

USMCA will help John Deere export more combines, harvesters, and tractors to our North American neighbors. Caterpillar leads the world in construction equipment manufacturing and its tens of thousands of jobs in Illinois will directly benefit from USMCA. The deal supports high-paying manufacturing jobs for Americans and will keep Illinois as a manufacturing leader.

USMCA also creates a new labor value content rule to drive higher wages for manufacturing jobs, which will benefit blue collar workers in Illinois.

USMCA maintains Illinois’ duty-free access to Mexico’s hog market, the state’s largest meat export, representing a market worth over $1.2 billion. USMCA solidifies and expands market access with our neighbors to the North and South, expanding economic opportunity and putting money in farmer’s and ranchers’ wallets.

On my first day as Secretary, President Trump promised he would work to get better deals for American farmers, and USMCA is proof of that.

Illinois stands to benefit in every way with USMCA. Illinois’ farmers, ranchers, and workers are some of the most productive in the world and the future looks bright with USMCA.

Read the full op-ed here.