President George W. Bush toured the Chicago Board of Trade Friday.
Later in a speech at the Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue, the president argued that the U.S. economy is on the rebound.
President Bush told 1,800 members of the Chicago economic club that the U.S. economy is the envy of the industrialized world.
But he also acknowledged the difficulties Illinois manufacturers have faced the last couple years.
The president said the solution to those difficulties is increased trade abroad.
"We're home to 5 percent of the world's population. That means that 95 percent of our customers live abroad. I believe this country ought to do everything it can to open up markets for our products overseas."
Mr. Bush says 350,000 jobs in Illinois rely on overseas exports, and 20 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Illinois are supported by exports. He says American workers and manufacturers can compete in a global economy.
The President says he will stand up for American workers, but he wants to ensure that U.S. businesses have access to foreign markets as well.