Local farmers talk trade after US Mexico agreement

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NEW BOSTON, Illinois - Some Mercer County farmers remain optimistic a trade deal will be made with Mexico after facing a tough year.

Farmers have made it clear - they are suffering this year because corn and soybean prices have gone in the tank.

"It's hard to make it work when you are making less than what it costs to produce them," says Tom Mueller an Illinois farmer.

Especially for soybean farmers who rely on trade with China, which imports ten times the amount of American beans than any other country on earth.

"We don't have any export markets, so we don't have any ships waiting in New Orleans or out in the Pacific that are waiting to take soybeans to China," says Jeff Kirwan of the Illinois Farm Bureau.

But not only is China a huge soybean customer, it's also a big buyer of American pork, beef, and corn-based ethanol.

"And the fact we are having this trade war with them, it'll hurt all those commodities quite a bit," says Mueller.

Even so, some of these farmers say they remain optimistic about the new trade deal being finalized with Mexico.

"Any kind of trade agreements we can get going forward are going to be positive," says Kirwan.

But there's still a new agreement with Canada yet to be settled.

"Canada is a great market for ethanol and other commodities," says Mueller, "and we hope they can join on and we will have a great North American agreement again."

And it all comes just weeks before harvest time.

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