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IFB supports President Obama’s call for passage of free trade agreements and regulatory review

January 25, 2011

President Obama gave more than a passing nod to the benefits of free trade and relaxed government regulation in his third State of the Union Address stressing “the more we export the more jobs we create at home” and he called for Congress to pass the Korea FTA.


Illinois Farm Bureau urges the president to send the Korea FTA to Capitol Hill for quick ratification.  American Farm Bureau testified today in the House Ways and Means Committee in favor of all three pending FTAs: Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

Ratifying these agreements would boost our surplus of U.S. agricultural exports and create thousands of new jobs in the agricultural sector.   

Before I took office, I made it clear that we would enforce our trade agreements, and that I would only sign deals that keep faith with American workers, and promote American jobs. That’s what we did with Korea, and that’s what I intend to do as we pursue agreements with Panama and Colombia, and continue our Asia Pacific and global trade talks.

Amid calls for infrastructure spending, tax reform, spending cuts, and clean energy innovation.   President Obama also talked about the need to review regulations, a sore subject for those of us in agriculture.  By the same token, clearly he was not eager to stir up concern in the Democratic base.

To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I’ve ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people. That’s what we’ve done in this country for more than a century. It’s why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe. It’s why we have speed limits and child labor laws. 

IFB urges Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities, review the regulatory agenda of EPA and  return to common sense regulation.

“By our count, there are more than two dozen separate EPA regulations and proposals that would hurt farmers,” said Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson.  “EPA is overstepping its authority, and we urge Congress to pursue a vigorous program of oversight of the regulatory agenda of EPA.”

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