LaHood talks national security, global terrorism, Illinois economy

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WMBD) — Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) joined the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Wednesday morning to discuss the pandemic, national security, and the Illinois economy.

LaHood said if a stimulus package isn’t passed before the election, many businesses hurt by the pandemic may not survive for another year. He said Congress is working to keep China accountable when it comes to trade, as well as accurately releasing information regarding how they are handling the pandemic.

“Arguably the lack of transparency, deceitfulness, manipulation of the World Health Organization has caused many of us in Congress to look at China and figure out stuff to hold them accountable,” LaHood said.

“China is on the rise. The relationship with China is like a rollercoaster. Right now it is down, there’s no doubt about it. The U.S., from a national security standpoint, we’re trying to find out how to move forward. Some want to go into a Cold War with China.”

LaHood said Congress is working this week to come up with a stimulus package before the election.

“There’s still a need. We’re working on that in Congress this week, hopefully, we can come up with a package before the election on helping those disproportionately affected businesses to target those, to help out on the economic front,” LaHood said. “I worry if we don’t do that over the next 6-9 months, through the winter, that they won’t make it.”

President of North American Grain at Cargill Sheryl Wallace was on the Zoom call as well. She said Cargill is working with over 4,000 Illinois farmers to bring their products to market. She said it’s extremely important to make sure there is food security in the United States, and Cargill is working to ensure that happens.

Executive Director of U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Jason Gross said extremist attacks in Sub-Saharan Africa are up over 30 percent this year. Gross said 25 percent of all U.S. grain is exported by Cargill.

LaHood said poverty and a lack of food security is a big reason some of these countries are struggling.

“Genesis of those start in poor countries, that don’t have the basis. Clean water, food,” LaHood said.

LaHood said NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) are a big way these countries are going to get support. He said the government is not going to fix the pandemic either, and the public sector will have to get strongly involved to get us through this.

He said the United States wins almost every case against China with the World Trade Organization.

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