Local forum address how international trade troubles affect Stateliners

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) ----- Those in business and agriculture deal with trade disputes across the globe and now it is hitting their wallets.


On Tuesday, September 10, the Institute of World Affairs and Trade at Rockford University will host “Troubled Waters in International Trade” at the Nordlof Center, a discussion exploring how it affects our community.

"Anything that happens globally can affect, you know, things that happen here on our farms," said Pollard.

For longtime farmer Brent Pollard, the upcoming talk is long overdue.

"Farming as a job is something that... we farm locally, our ground is here, our land is here, the environment that we're good stewards of is here, but we have to think globally. Because, you know, 20-25% of my income and every other farmer's income in Illinois is related to trade," said Pollard.

After 20 years in Congress, former 16th District representative and IWAT co-founder Don Manzullo says the conversation is bigger than where you fall along the aisle.

"This is not political. The issue isn't any one politician or any one country. It's a forum that deals strategically at the 8,000 foot eagle's eye view of what happens when you have disruptions in normal trade relations," said Manzullo.

As the trade war rages on, Manzullo says the need for understanding is more important than ever.

"Everybody is impacted by what happens in the world, that increases the conversation, it gets more people interested in it and more people become involved in what we call a democracy."

Free tickets are still available for next Tuesday’s event, which starts at 5:30 p.m.