Gov. Pat Quinn travels to Washington next week in hopes of strengthening foreign export markets and gaining more. Quinn will meet with the president of Brazil and nine governors from Brazil. The announcement of the Washington trip came during the first meeting of the Illinois Export Advisory Council late Tuesday afternoon. The council’s goal is to find ways to double Illinois exports by 2014. The creation of the council was announced during the State of the State address. “We have brought together some of the most successful business and economic leaders in the country with the single mission of advancing Illinois’ growth in the global economy,” Quinn said.
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Following the meeting, Quinn, along with Navistar boss Daniel Ustian, called on Congress to pass the four-year reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and raise the limit on the bank's portfolio. The bank has financed exports since 1934 but will close in May without reauthorization. The bank has helped 280 Illinois companies over the past five years, 67 percent of which are small and medium-sized. “The council said that this is a very important act that needs to be continued to help us compete when were out trying to get business throughout the world,” Ustian said.
Ustian says council members identified several places that would make good export targets including China, South Africa, Australia and Latin America.