Katie Smith and Dan Obert
Importance of Trade
Katie Smith, Communication Intern at IL Corn, sat down with Collin Watters, Director of Exports and Logistics, and asked him a couple questions about trade. Find out more about Collin and why he thinks trade is so important.
Katie: How did you get to the position you are in today?
Collin: In college I participated in an exchange program in Brazil. It was really powerful to see life in another part of the world and better understand the similarities and differences between countries. I went on to work for a trade organization right out of college and subsequent jobs led me here. But it all started with that exchange trip.
Katie: If you had to summarize the importance of trade in one sentence, what would it be?
Collin: Trade promotes prosperity and prosperity promotes peace.
Katie: Who benefits from trade?
Collin: On average, everyone benefits. Producers can reach consumers around the world and consumers can buy competitively priced goods and services. Trade encourages an efficient and effective marketplace and has contributed to an incredible decline in extreme global poverty.
Katie: What is the most challenging part of trade for countries like the U.S.?
Collin: Constantly changing markets and crop years are challenging, but trade agreements help give things certainty.
Katie: If someone was only going to remember one point about the importance of trade, what would you want that to be?
Collin: Trade impacts everyone’s life in some way or another but we don’t always realize it. I hope more people get interested in trade.
Collin is an expert in trade and market relations. He works to find additional markets for Illinois’ corn. Illinois exports 42% of its corn crop making trade a top priority for IL Corn.