Local labor, agricultural and manufacturing stakeholders express support for USMCA
Washington – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) cast her vote in favor of the historic United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). The legislation is the first trade deal in recent history to receive broad-based support across agricultural and labor stakeholders.
“Illinois farmers and workers deserve the strongest possible trade deal. Thanks to changes secured by House Democrats, USMCA is that deal. No agreement is ever perfect, but this legislation addresses the needs of the district while delivering the strongest trade enforcement mechanisms our country has ever seen,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Throughout the months of negotiation, I worked to help chart a path forward that would serve all Illinoisans. I’m proud Congress secured a deal that will help all sectors of our region’s economy prosper.”
During the past year, Congresswoman Bustos has toured Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, speaking with farmers, labor organizers and local stakeholders, and convening a meeting between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the Illinois Farm Bureau and Farmers for Free Trade, in order to ensure that the concerns of all parties were brought to the table.
After months of negotiations, House Democrats struck a deal that resulted in bipartisan and broad-based support across industries and communities.
- Stronger protections for workers through enhanced enforcement: creates an interagency committee to monitor labor reforms and establishes benchmarks for the implementation of reforms.
- Closes enforcement loopholes and streamlines the dispute settlement system to ensure that our trading partners live up to their commitments.
- Delivers much-needed trade certainty for farmers and the agriculture community.
- Establishes a foundation to create new markets in future trade negotiations.
Prescription Drugs and the Environment
- Removes 10-year exclusivity for biologics, which are some of the most expensive drugs on the market.
- Includes enhanced environmental protections.
Local labor, agricultural, and manufacturing stakeholders have expressed support for the trade deal and Congresswoman Bustos’ work to secure the agreement:
“The USMCA has enforceable labor standards and it eliminates special corporate giveaways and legal loopholes. We made NAFTA better,” said Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea. “Workers have long been last in line when it came to trade policy in this country, but this trade deal is a vast improvement over the original NAFTA and the initial USMCA proposal. We acknowledge that is only a step, not a solution to outsourcing and inequality. Working people won this fight and we thank Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, the House and Senate leadership, as well as the negotiators for standing with us.”
“I truly appreciate Rep. Bustos’ efforts over the past several months to help lay the groundwork for a successful bipartisan USMCA vote in the U.S. House. Her work to facilitate an August meeting between me and Speaker Pelosi to discuss the need for USMCA is greatly appreciated,” said Richard Guebert Jr., President of the Illinois Farm Bureau. “That meeting received a lot of attention, was seen as a positive development, and created optimism and momentum for an updated trade agreement that will maintain tariff free access to two of our top three export markets. We thank Rep. Bustos for her work – and for her vote – to ratify USMCA.”
“Mexico and Canada are significant markets for corn and corn co-products so Illinois corn farmers couldn’t be happier to see the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement passed in the House today,” said Randy DeSutter, Illinois Corn Growers Association Vice President from Woodhull, IL. “Mexico is our largest purchaser of corn and of dried distillers grains with soluables. Canada is our second largest purchaser of ethanol. Together, these two markets are our most reliable customers. Ratification of this agreement and guaranteeing our relationship for years into the future is a big win for Illinois corn farmers who need market certainty this year.”
“Soybean growers are appreciative of our Congressional leaders, especially Rep. Bustos, for their support of the Biodiesel tax credit during what has been a rough patch for farmers,” said Ron Moore, soybean farmer and Director of the American Soybean Association. “We have endured a down farm economy, the ongoing trade war, and other hardships including bad weather this year. This tax credit will help expand markets and provide certainty for the soybean industry,”
“Trade is critical for Illinois manufacturers and the 592,000 women and men working on factory floors. Ninety-five percent off the world’s consumers live outside the United States and more than 40 percent of Illinois’ exports are sent to Mexico and Canada,” said Mark Denzler, President & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “We applaud Congresswoman Bustos for her support of the USMCA trade agreement that will help the manufacturing sector.”
“The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is grateful to Rep. Bustos for her efforts to modernize and strengthen trade across North America and for her vote in favor of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” said Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “The agreement ensures continued duty-free access to our industry’s largest export markets, creates tens of thousands of news jobs, and adds $68 million to the U.S. economy. We applaud Rep. Bustos for her work to ensure the continued growth and prosperity of our industry, the local communities we serve, and the 119,000 hard working men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry in Illinois.”
“The USMCA is good for America and American manufacturing,” said Caterpillar, Inc. “That’s why it has bipartisan support.”