AFTER THE ELECTION – A YEAR IN REVIEW

Scrolling through the archives, I found this article posted on November 10 last year.  Reading it takes me back to the uncertainty of America as she woke up following election day 2016.  Many of us were surprised by the election results and scrambling to make some sense of what would come next.  In the IL Corn office, there were also excited feelings – as following any major change in electorate – about the challenges of educating a new President about our issues and the opportunities that a new administration might hold.

Almost a year through this presidency, we’ve been on a roller coaster ride.

Back then, we were excited about the promise of a Republican-controlled House, Senate, and Presidency and the results that such an alignment might deliver.  Happily, nothing negative has happened, but neither have any positive results passed for the country.  There’s just – nothing.  This conservative voter is disappointed to see that having a majority in both houses of Congress and the Executive Office still doesn’t deliver results.

One year ago, Illinois looked forward to working with our newest member of Congress, Raja Krishnamoorthi.  This relationship couldn’t have played out better!  Congressman Krishnamoorthi is responsive to our requests and accessible to farmers.  He is interested in learning about agriculture – the economic driver of Illinois – and willing to help see farmers succeed.

Senator Duckworth is also finishing out her first year in the Senate with many accolades from IL Corn.  We appreciate her support of ethanol and her willingness to learn about the need for lock and dam upgrades, but we had experienced a positive relationship working with her in Congress and expected nothing less.

Farmers are pleased with the team President Trump has assembled for himself, specifically as relates to agriculture.  The President’s choice for Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, has been an asset leading our industry and farmers are also happy with nominations for Bill Northey, Steve Censky, Ted McKinney, and others.  We see this team coming to agriculture’s defense and helping to promote the industry as recently as last week when Sec Perdue said that withdrawing from NAFTA would have “some tragic consequences.”

Speaking of NAFTA, we worried about it one year ago and we’re still worried about trade today.  President Trump’s trade conversations have caused a bit of upheaval with our foreign customers.  IL Corn was disappointed to see America step out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and nervous to hear of a potential “cancellation” of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  At the same time, farmers have seen the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule stopped in its tracks and are mostly pleased with the administration of the Environmental Protection Agency taking more of a commonsense, science-based approach to environmental regulations.

All in all, you win some, you lose some.  I suppose that’s the way our government is designed.  A win for any one industry or any one person wouldn’t always be good for the whole, right?

Our office remains excited about the opportunity to work with the administration and the Congress towards some of our most important priorities.

Lindsay Mitchell
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director

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