New Ad Campaign Takes Aim At Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross For Threatening Illinois Jobs

After Publicly Praising the Economic Development Administration, Ross Is Attempting to Eliminate Agency That Has Created or Saved 1,678 Illinois Jobs

ILLINOIS– Today, Restore Public Trust launched a new ad campaign in Illinois and nine other states across the country affected by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ proposed elimination of the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The EDA, an agency specifically designed to stimulate economic growth in struggling areas, has created or saved an estimated 1,678 Illinoisans jobs through $11,089,864 in grants since 2017. The proposed budget cuts come after Ross has repeatedly publicly praised the program.

“Secretary Ross’ attempt to abolish the Economic Development Administration should concern every single resident of Illinois,” said Lizzy Price, spokesperson for Restore Public Trust. “Ross himself publicly acknowledges the importance of the EDA to creating and saving jobs, yet privately he is working to eliminate the EDA. Ross is supposed to be on the side of Illinois workers and defend American jobs, but he’s maliciously obfuscating the truth: he says he cares about American workers while he goes behind their backs to undermine their jobs.”


Despite his public remarks and claims that he supports American jobs, Ross’ actions show his thorough disregard for struggling communities. Ross’ proposal will threaten 17,000 jobs across the country despite the program’s support from Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.

Earlier this year Restore Public Trust launched to expose Ross’ history of cutting jobs in states from the Great Lakes to the Carolinas. As the website shows, before joining the Trump Administration Ross lined his own pockets in the private sector by shipping American jobs overseas. Secretary Ross was responsible for laying off over 11,000 workers in 11 states before joining the administration to head up the Commerce Department.

In addition to the digital ad campaign, Restore Public Trust updated to contain new information about the additional number of jobs per state threatened by Ross’ proposed cuts to the EDA. In Illinois, after already being responsible for eliminating 500 jobs when he was in the private sector, Ross’ proposed cuts to the EDA threaten an additional 1,678 jobs. The numbers don’t lie: Ross is bad for the economy.

The EDA has had a positive impact in Illinois thanks to the over $300 million budget that was approved for the agency as part of both FY 2018 and FY 2019 spending bills. The EDA has provided numerous grants to cities across Illinois under this administration including:

  • $512,680 to the City of Carmi that was expected to create or save 125 jobs

  • $2,272,895 to America’s Central Port District estimated to save or create 48 jobs and praised by Wilbur Ross

  • $1,507,478 to Jefferson County expected to create or save 207 jobs and praised by Wilbur Ross

  • $2,149,300 to the City of Litchfield expected to create 600 jobs and praised by Wilbur Ross

  • $1,967,976 to the City of Peoria expected to create or save 362 jobs

  • $537,288 to the Taylorville Development Association and the City of Taylorville expected to create 318 jobs

  • $2,142,247 to the City of Waukegan that was estimated to create 18 jobs and praised by Wilbur Ross

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