information provided by the Office of Congresswoman Kelly
MATTESON, Ill. (December 20, 2019) – Congresswoman Robin Kelly released this statement declaring her support for the revised United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):
“When first announced, I had a number of concerns regarding the USMCA. However, after months of intense negotiations and changes that remedy my concerns, I’m proud to announce my support for this significant trade deal that will foster economic growth and opportunity throughout Illinois.
“I’m honored to represent the Second Congressional District of Illinois, a unique district that includes urban, suburban, and rural communities. Our district includes part of Chicago, the nation’s 3rd largest city, and more than 1,200 farms. Representing this district gives me a unique insight into the challenges and impacts of any new trade deal on our communities.
“The revised USMCA will further expand markets for Illinois farmers, many of whom are struggling. Recent extreme weather and the failed Trump Trade War have put Illinois farmers at a severe disadvantage. This trade deal is a vital lifeline to farmers as they work to recapture global market share in an increasingly competitive environment. Likewise, new provisions included to protect our environment will ensure that Illinois and the Midwest remains a viable bread basket of the world.
“I’d like to thank the Kankakee and Illinois Farm Bureaus for their constructive engagement with me on this topic. Hearing from local farmers is vital to my work in Congress, and I appreciate the steady, proactive, and informative outreach from local farming organizations and their members.
“In addition to supporting American agriculture, the changes to the USMCA will also benefit Illinois workers and manufacturers. I’m proud that House Democrats were able to bolster worker protections, so workers are treated fairly, and non-compliant factories are held accountable.
“I also thank the United Steelworkers (USW) and United Automobile Workers (UAW) for their work during this process. Through steadfast advocacy, they were able to ensure a deal that supports Illinois workers and workers throughout North America.
“Finally, provisions added by House Democrats will spur greater competition to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for American families. As healthcare costs continue to grow, too many Americans are facing the difficult choice between buying lifesaving medicines and buying groceries. No family should be forced to make that impossible choice. While House Democrats continue aggressively working to address the high cost of prescription drugs, the provisions within the USMCA are an important step that will foster competition and thereby lower prices.
“It’s no secret that the USMCA process has been long and difficult. However, I believe that this process has created a high-quality trade agreement that will pay dividends for Illinois farmers, workers, manufacturers, and families. I’m proud to support the United State-Mexico-Canada Agreement, thanks to the changes imposed through bipartisan compromise.”