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Congressman Randy Hultgren

Representing the 14th District of ILLINOIS

What Do These FTAs Mean For Illinois?

Oct 12, 2011
Press Release

This evening, the House will vote on the long-stalled Colombia, Panama, and Korea Free Trade Agreements (FTA). These agreementswill make it easier for Illinois farmers and manufacturers export their products abroad, creating jobs and opportunity at home. Congressman Randy Hultgren supports these agreements and knows they will create jobs in Illinois by opening new markets for our state’s farmers and manufacturers.

What Do These FTAs Mean For Illinois?

MoreAmerican Exports, More American Jobs, More Economic Growth

Exports directly support 145,903 jobs in Illinois (25,875 of those in the 14th District) in 650 companies. Implementing the FTA’s will open more markets, incentivizing local companies to grow and hire.(U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Accessed 10/12/11)

Almost 25% of all manufacturing jobs in Illinois are dependent on exports. That is one in every four workers.(U.S. Department of Commerce,Accessed10/12/11)

FTA’s will directly impact the engines of Illinois’ economy – small and medium businesses. These enterprises with less than 500 employees account for 15,170 of Illinois exporting firms, and generated over one-fifth of our state’s total merchandise exports in 2008. (U.S. Department of Commerce, Accessed 10/12/11)

Last year, Illinois exported over $48.4 billion worth of goods – new trade agreements will open up new markets to increase the amount of goods sold. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Accessed 10/12/11)

Illinois has benefitted from trade agreements. For example, the U.S.-Chile agreement in 2004 grew Illinois’s exports to Chile by 400%. (U.S. Department of Commerce, Accessed 10/12/11)

Trade is also beneficial to Illinois farmers and agriculture. In 2010, the state’s agricultural exports were estimated at $5.8 billion, supporting almost 49,000 jobs. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Accessed 10/12/11)


FTAs Will Help Local Companies Grow and Create Private-Sector Jobs

Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman:

“Opening foreign markets is a fundamental competitive challenge for the United States to increase exports and generate more U.S. jobs…For Caterpillar, which exported more than $13.4 billion in goods from its U.S. manufacturing facilities last year, there is a tremendous opportunity to sell more mining trucks and scrapers made in Decatur, Illinois, and track-type tractors made in East Peoria, Illinois, to Panama as part of its canal expansion plan.”(Press Release, Caterpillar, 03/30/11)

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney:

“I'd like to highlight just one of the recommendations that the Export Council has made: advancing stalled free-trade pacts. This is an area that offers substantial near- and long-term opportunities for economic growth and job creation… Free trade agreements often get drawn into the crossfire of political debate. But as many here already know, FTAs actually normalize trade relations and allow the U.S. to get into new markets, while our FTA partners tend, typically, to already have access to the U.S. market. FTAs also level the playing field with trade competitors from Europe and other places who already have agreements in place in markets where we do not. (“U.S. Competitiveness at a Crossroads,” Speech to Atlantic Legal Foundation, 03/10/11)

Kraft Foods Statement:

“Kraft Foods applauds the breakthrough made by U.S. and Colombian negotiators to resolve outstanding concerns, paving the way for Congress to ratify the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.  Kraft Foods has long advocated open markets as keys to increasing trade, promoting economic growth and creating good jobs, in the United States and abroad.”(Press Release, Kraft Foods, 04/13/11) 

Navistar CFO A.J.Cederoth:

“We’re pleased to work with the administration and Congress to double American exports within five years and ensure the benefits of exporting American products, like the engines Navistar builds at our Melrose Park facility. An increase in American exports, powered by freer and fairer trade, is not only vital to our company, but our community and nation, as well.” (Press Release, Rep. Quigley, 04/06/10)

Hultgren Has Been A Strong Supporter Of The FTAs

Congressman Hultgren signed a letter to President Obama in February, calling for quick action on the Free Trade Agreements.

Hultgren wrote an op-ed in June, supporting the FTAs, stressing their positive impacts for Illinois farmers and manufacturers.

Hultgren recently applauded the long-overdue submission of the FTAs to Congress.