The 21st Show

How The US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement Will Affect Illinois


Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, speaks at a rally supporting passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement on trade, Thursday, September 12, 2019, on the National Mall in Washington. Patrick Semansky/ Associated Press

House Democrats and President Trump agree that a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is good for our economy. With Illinois being the third largest agricultural exporter in the nation, what will that mean for farmers in the state?

Illinois exports about $28 billion worth of goods to Canada and Mexico. A lot of those are agricultural goods grown on Illinois farms. Illinois is the third largest agricultural exporter in the nation. This means changes to the trade agreements the United States has with other countries will directly affect the thousands of Illinois residents who work in the agriculture industry for better or worse.

Earlier this week, House Democrats announced their intent to ratify the USMCA, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which was negotiated last year to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, also known as NAFTA. This news came just minutes after the House announced articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday.

We were joined by Phil Levy. He’s the Chief Economist at Flexport, an international freight and customs brokerage. Earlier this year, he wrote a report called "Rebuilding a Bipartisan Consensus on Trade Policy" for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. 

Sean Arians also joined us. He’s a farmer in Woodford County — between Peoria and Bloomington —who has been following issues affecting Illinois exports very closely.

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