Illinois Commodities Request Ag Trade Protection

May 29, 2024  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Exports

Earlier this week, the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and four other state commodity organizations called on Illinois’s congressional delegation to grow export opportunities and protect agricultural trade from undue retaliation.


The Biden Administration recently increased tariff (import tax) rates on goods like Chinese steel and aluminum, as well as high technology components like semiconductors.These tariffs were initially implemented during the Trump presidency.


 “Both Presidential candidates and party platforms support proposals to raise tariffs on imports, such as steel and high-tech components, which are a cause for concern,” the letter said. “These tariffs, essentially regressive taxes, will be borne by U.S. consumers, including farmers who purchase equipment made from steel and high-tech controls,”


Not only will United States consumers pay more, our trade partners may raise their own tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation. Farmers were recently caught in the crosshairs of internation trade policy trade during the trade war between the U.S. and China. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) reported $30.4 billion in agricultural products were lost as China retaliated to 2018 U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.


In March, ICGA supported the National Corn Growers Association’s Consensus of Congress “encouraging federal officials to pursue trade opportunities and invest in foreign market development to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in corn production and trade.” The United States Economic Research Service estimated 1.13 million non-farm jobs were depended on agricultural exports.


As presidential and congressional elections approach, IL Corn Director of Exports and Logistics Collin Waters said American farmers need export opportunities to ensure demand. “The farm economy outlook is not good this year due to low commodity prices and high input costs. We cannot afford to lose any export markets now, so we’ve asked Congress to help ensure that farmers won’t be retaliated against.  We’ve also asked Congress to help us pursue a more ambitious trade agenda that will increase foreign market access and benefit farmers for years to come,” Watters said.


“The unified voice from these Illinois agriculture groups speaks volumes,” Illinois Farm Bureau Director of National Legislation Ryan Whitehouse said.“Our farmers need policies that grow their markets, not shrink. They need more trade opportunities, not less.” In addition to ICGA and IFB, the letter included support from the Illinois Beef Association, the Illinois Pork Producer Association, and the Illinois Soybean Association. ICGA continues to advocate for expanding export market opportunities across administrations.