Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House approved legislation that included Rep. Mike Bost’s (IL-12) legislation to protect the American steel industry and other businesses from the illegal dumping of foreign products in U.S. markets. The House also passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which will strengthen America’s hand in negotiating international trade deals, boost American exports, and benefit workers right here in Southern Illinois.
“I know American businesses and their workers can outperform anyone in the world, and that opening new markets for American exports is critical to their success,” said Rep. Bost. “However, we also need to ensure safeguards are in place when other nations fail to play be the same rules we do.
“The package of bipartisan bills we passed today includes legislation I introduced to strengthen our trade remedy laws, and that’s a win for the steel industry in Southern Illinois and other industries that suffer the consequences of illegal foreign trade practices. Under our current trade remedy laws, American businesses must suffer significant – and often, permanent – harm before they can seek relief. That’s like waiting for your house to burn down before you’re allowed to contact the fire department. I’m proud the House joined me in restoring common sense to these laws.
“Trade is important to farmers and manufacturers, and this legislation will expand our markets, grow our economy and help put people to work. That’s a good thing for Illinois, where 1.7 million workers rely on trade for their employment.”
Facts on Trade in the State of Illinois:
Illinois’ trade-related employment grew 7.5 times faster than total state employment from 2004 to 2013;
Illinois exported $66.5 billion in goods and $28.3 billion in services in 2013;
In 2013, 53 percent ($35.5 billion) of Illinois’ goods exports went to U.S. free trade agreement partners;
Small and medium-sized companies make up 90 percent of Illinois exporters; and
Illinois is America’s third largest exporter of agricultural products.