Business & Economy
Governor Quinn Announces Centers Opening to Sell More Illinois Products in China PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Nafia Khan   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:18
American Goods Centers to Open This Fall in Beijing, Shanghai


SHANGHAI – September 21, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn continued his trade mission in China by visiting Shanghai where he announced Illinois exports will soon be more readily available to Chinese consumers. The Governor attended a reception hosted by the American Goods Center to announce plans to open centers in both Shanghai and Beijing this fall.

“Continued trade and cooperation with China will help Illinois remain at the cutting edge of the global marketplace,” Governor Quinn said. “We are committed to working alongside the people of China on issues such as education, tourism and trade in order to help grow our economy for years to come.”

The American Goods Distribution Center in Shanghai will open in October. Work on the American Goods Center in Beijing is almost complete, and it is expected to open this fall. Later this year, the American Goods Centers will open a purchasing office in Chicago and send its first purchasing delegation from China to Illinois to buy Illinois products.

In January, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Chicago where the Beijing International Brand Management Center (BIBMC), along with the Chaoyang District of Beijing and Changning District of Shanghai and the state of Illinois, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish American Goods Centers in Beijing and Shanghai to increase the export of Illinois goods and services to China and to foster more Chinese investment in Illinois.

Under the agreement, the state will recommend Illinois products to the BIBMC – particularly in the agricultural, auto parts and construction machinery sectors – and assist with establishing the purchase center in Chicago. Through the distribution centers, BIBMC will provide intellectual property rights protection, Chinese distribution development, channel construction, marketing and other comprehensive services to Illinois companies in China.

China is Illinois' third largest export destination, and Illinois is among the top five states in agricultural exports to China. Illinois agriculture exports to China have increased each year since 2007, from $149 million to $552 million in 2009. Illinois' overall exports to China in 2009 reached $2.47 billion. In 2010, Illinois’ exports to China reached $3.18 billion, representing a 29 percent increase over 2009. Nearly 30 Chinese companies have invested in Illinois, employing thousands of Illinois residents.

Governor Quinn and the Illinois delegation also visited Shanghai’s Jewish Quarter, once known as the Restricted Sector for Stateless Refugees. During the 1930s, 20,000 Jews fled to Shanghai, which offered visa-free sanctuary to Jews fleeing Nazism. In accordance with a Japanese-issued proclamation, those refugees were relocated to a one-square mile area in the Hongkou District. The Quarter now includes a museum and offers educational tours of the neighborhood.


David Becker report from Securities and Exchange Commission inspector general PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 12:00
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today made the following comment on the report from the Securities and Exchange Commission inspector general on the agency’s former general counsel’s actions in the Bernard Madoff fraud case.  Grassley, a long-time watchdog of making sure the agency does its job, earlier this year urged the agency to account for its actions in this matter.

“First, the SEC missed the Madoff scam.  Then, the SEC was tone-deaf to Madoff victims.  It let a top SEC employee who profited from a Madoff account craft the commission’s position on how to treat Madoff victims.  It’s hard to see how the agency could have let such a major conflict of interest slide.  The SEC needs to reform its ethics polices top to bottom.  The consequences of a haphazard approach are clear.  Public confidence in the agency’s ability to do its job of protecting investors is undermined by slipshod work.  The SEC needs to make sure nothing like this happens again.”

House Republicans Introduce Jobs Plan PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sarah Wojcicki   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:50
Milan, IL….House Republican Leader Tom Cross along with Representatives Rich Morthland and Jerry Mitchell on Monday held a press conference at the Kenneth Bush farm in Milan to unveil a blueprint to attract and keep good jobs in Illinois.

“The national economy is struggling, but Illinois’ economy is faring even worse,” said Cross (R-Oswego).  “All but one of our neighboring states has lower unemployment than Illinois.  Today, we are introducing a plan to make Illinois more attractive to all businesses from large manufacturers, to small business entrepreneurs to family farmers.”

“Family farms are the backbone of our agriculture industry and our economy in Illinois, but estate taxes are pushing families off of the land they have farmed for generations,” said Rep. Morthland (R-Cordova). “We need to keep family farmers farming, and implementing a much more reasonable estate tax exemption will help a great deal. That’s why we have made expansion of the exemption a key component in the plan we’re announcing today.”

The House Republican Job Package includes measures to:

1.      Increase the estate tax exemption to $5 million.

Under the current law, when family farms are passed from generation to generation the heirs are hit with a huge estate tax if their assets are worth more than $2 million.  Family farm assets are invested in land and equipment leaving limited available cash flow.  Our proposal would raise the estate tax exemption to $5 million—which mirrors the federal tax code.


2.      Re-instate the Net Operating Loss deduction.

Many businesses are losing money in this tough economy, this proposal allows them to use their net operating loss as a tax deduction extending the corporate carry forwards from 12 years to 20 years, and allowing a two year carry back.

3.      Re-enact the Illinois Research & Development tax credit.

Illinois businesses utilized this tax credit until it expired in December 2010.  Its’ reinstatement would allow businesses that are doing legitimate research and development projects as defined in the law to qualify for a tax credit each year.  Our proposal would also add ethanol and biodiesel research as qualified R & D activities.

4.      Extend the life of existing Enterprise Zones by up to 20 years.

Most designated Enterprise Zones in Illinois are set to expire in the next ten years.  Our proposal would allow current municipalities around the state to extend the enterprise zones in their communities to ensure tax incentives to businesses that have located or choose to locate in these underdeveloped areas.

5.      Reduce the administrative costs and burdens involved with setting up and incorporating a Limited Liability Corporation in Illinois.

In Illinois, even the cost to set up a business is much higher.  We are proposing to reduce that fee from $750 to $100. The highest fee that any of our surrounding states currently charges is in Wisconsin at $130.


“This week we learned that our unemployment rate in Illinois is now almost 10%. That’s unconscionable. Our neighboring states have launched aggressive campaigns to lure away our employers that provide jobs for our families. We need to fight back, and this plan is a good start,” added Morthland.

“Illinois is blessed with hard working families and individuals, but they can’t find work. We must become more jobs friendly. The future of our families and our communities depend upon it,” stressed Representative Mitchell (R-Sterling). “The best way to attract and keep businesses here is for government to get out of their way and out of their pockets.”

“When more people are working and re-investing in our communities, our economy is stronger.  For every point we reduce our unemployment rate, the state generates around $600 million in new revenue to fund state programs and services.  We can’t afford not to enact these proposals,” said Cross.

The package is supported by the National Federation of Independent Business and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

"As Illinois faces rising unemployment rates and a recession that shows no signs of life, allowing small business owners to keep more of their own money makes sense," said Kim Clarke Maisch, NFIB/Illinois State Director. "NFIB has long supported either eliminating or allowing for a high exemption on the death tax, which gives small businesses a piece of mind that their hard work will be passed on to family members.  As well, reinstating the net operating loss will be very helpful to the many businesses that experienced significant losses during this ongoing recession."

A representative of the Illinois Farm Bureau was on hand to lend support to the provision to raise the estate tax.


Governor Quinn Announces Major Illinois-China Business Investments PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Nafia Khan   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:40

Agreements Continue Illinois’ Global Leadership;
Support Governor’s aggressive goal of doubling exports by 2014

BEIJING, CHINA – September 19, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn visited Beijing today during his business and economic trade mission in China, where he announced two business agreements that further strengthen the relationship between Illinois and China. The agreements involving Illinois-based ADM and Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology Co., LTD (Goldwind) move the state another step closer to reaching Governor Quinn’s aggressive goal of doubling Illinois exports by 2014.

“Illinois is a top competitor in the global economy, and our aggressive plans to double exports and develop innovative new partnerships in emerging technology fields are continuing to advance our growth on the international stage,” Governor Quinn said. “Our state has the resources, human capital, and innovative drive to expand our global reach. These agreements represent Illinois’ ongoing commitment to continue to compete and grow  in the global marketplace.”

During his visit to Beijing today, Governor Quinn announced that Goldwind, one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, will build a $200 million wind farm in Lee County, Illinois. The company will break ground on the Shady Oaks project later this fall. Once online, the project will provide 109.5 megawatts (MW) of power, and create more than 100 construction and a dozen permanent maintenance jobs in Illinois. According to the American Wind Energy Association, one megawatt of wind energy can provide enough electricity to meet the needs of 225-300 households. Therefore, 109.5 MW can provide the electricity needs of approximately 25,000 homes.

“As the largest and most competitive market in the world, the United States is a key component of Goldwind’s international growth. Thanks to visionary leaders like Governor Quinn, Goldwind and other renewable energy companies are able to generate an undeniable economic impact in the U.S. wind industry through job creation and supplier agreements,” said Goldwind Chairman and CEO Wu Gang. “Goldwind has generated a competitive global footprint and we are focused on continuing that momentum, continuing to demonstrate our technology advantages and continuing to build-out our global supply chain.”

Goldwind USA Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co, LTD, based in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China. Goldwind USA established its headquarters in Chicago in 2010 to oversee operations in North and South America.

Governor Quinn also announced that Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), a worldwide food production company based in Decatur, Illinois, has entered into a $100 million sales agreement with Jiusan Oils and Seeds. Under the agreement, ADM will supply Jiusan Oils and Seeds, a manufacturer of soy products based in Harbin, Helongjiang, China, with 180,000 metric tons of soybeans by December 2012.

“This agreement connects Illinois soybean farmers with Chinese consumers and reinforces the growing ties between the State of Illinois and China,” said David Ragan, product line manager, ADM. “In addition to helping to meet soybean demand and keep costs consistent for Chinese consumers, this partnership also underscores ADM’s advancing interests in China and our commitment to serving China’s priorities in food security, food safety and food sustainability.”

China is the world’s largest market for Illinois soybeans, importing more than 104 million bushels of U.S. soybeans in the 2009/2010 marketing year valued at more than $160 million. Illinois is among the top five states in agricultural exports to China. Illinois agriculture exports to China have increased each year since 2007, from $149 million to $424 million in 2010.

China is Illinois’ third largest export destination. Illinois’ overall exports to China reached $3.18 billion in 2010, up from $2.47 billion in 2009. Nearly 30 Chinese companies have invested in Illinois, employing thousands of Illinois residents.

or follow him on Twitter at @GovernorQuinn. More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website at


Governor Quinn: Illinois Film Industry Boosting State Economy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Friday, 16 September 2011 13:40

Blockbuster Productions Like Superman ‘Man of Steel’ Put Illinois on Pace for Another Record Year

CHICAGO – September 13, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today visited the production set of the new Superman movie Man of Steel to highlight the impact the film industry is having on the Illinois economy. Illinois’ film industry saw a record $161 million in spending in 2010, a 54 percent increase from 2009, and resulted in more than 8,000 job hires. Approximately 550 people in Illinois are being hired for Man of Steel alone.

“With major movie productions like Man of Steel coming to Illinois, the film industry is continuing to strengthen our state’s economy and create thousands of jobs,” Governor Quinn said. “This film is a great example of how the impact of film and television productions is far-reaching in the Illinois economy, benefiting everyone from local restaurants to the carpenters, truck drivers, caterers and custodial staff who make them possible.”

With the filming of Man of Steel, several major television shows and many commercial productions that have already filmed in the state this year, 2011 is promising to be another banner year for the Illinois film industry.

Man of Steel began production in late July in and around Plano, where the city was transformed into Clark Kent’s hometown of Smallville. Production moved to Chicago on Sept. 7, where the movie is currently filming. The film stars Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Clark's parents, Laurence Fishburne as Daily Planet Editor Perry White and Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Clark's biological father. Chicagoan Michael Shannon stars as General Zod.

“Illinois continues to make important investments in the film industry as a way to create jobs and cultivate a more sustainable industry, which will help Illinois maintain its competitive edge against other leading production centers,” DCEO Director Warren Ribley said. “The state sees an immediate return on investment when productions like Man of Steel film in Illinois, not only by increasing economic activity and adding jobs, but also by showcasing Illinois’ great locations and skilled workforce.”

“Last year was a record-breaking year for the Illinois film industry and with major productions like Man of Steel filming in Illinois, this is sure to be another successful year,” Betsy Steinberg, Managing Director of the Illinois Film Office said. “We’re seeing more and more films, TV series and commercials choosing to shoot in Illinois, which is giving our economy a boost and creating jobs.”

Illinois’ film industry saw a record $161 million in spending in 2010, which topped the $155 million in spending in 2007 and represents a 54 percent increase from 2009.

Earlier this year, Governor Quinn helped dedicate a new soundstage development, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, which will make Illinois an even more attractive filming destination. The new studio, when fully built out, will include 1.2 million square feet of space and is located on 48.2 acres at the site of the old Ryerson Steel property on the near southwest side of Chicago between Ogden and Western Avenues.


With many unique locations, talented crews, and ample sound stages, the Illinois Film Office (IFO) actively pursues film projects by promoting Illinois as an ideal location to film. In addition, the IFO administers the Illinois’ Film Tax Credit, which has been instrumental in spurring growth of Illinois’ film industry. Illinois offers a 30 percent tax credit to filmmakers for money spent on Illinois goods and services, including wages paid to Illinois residents. Since its inception, the Film Tax Credit has helped bring over half a billion dollars in revenue to the state and over 10,000 full time equivalent jobs.


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