Nebraska growing trade relationships overseas

New opportunity for Nebraska businesses

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Governor Pete Ricketts announced expanded trade partnerships between Nebraska, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.  This will give our farmers and ranchers a better chance to make a profit.

Our ranchers have been feeling the strains of inflation for quite some time now, as the cost of beef goes up in the stores, but their profits don’t.  With these international trade deals with Ireland and the U.K. ranchers will have a better chance at making a bigger profit.

“Trade agreements with individual countries, that’s the way the world is turning. It used to be all countries would get together and they would have these multilateral agreements and everybody agreed to them, well that’s not happening anymore, so these free trade agreements are the way to expand the trade. So it’s a good thing anytime we try to do anything like this,” said Jay Rempe Senior economist with the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

Nebraska exported $1.6 billion worth of beef in 2021, the highest ever recorded.

“We love exports, actually it is now over $400 that it adds to the value of an animal, exports themselves, so to be able to open more up to the U.K. is great,” said Buck Wehrbein Policy Division Chair for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

The problem is, even though the price of their product is going up, the ranchers are not seeing a bigger profit right now.  The hope is these trade agreements will help.

“The $400 plus that we’ve added to the value of exports, a lot of the producers are not seeing much of that. It’s going to one sector and that’s a real issue and a big issue and we are feverishly working on it. However, the point is, if you don’t have a market for your product, you don’t have a product,” said Wehrbein.

In other words…

“We all want to work to make sure their share continues at least a steadier grow because we all want that. That benefits our smaller communities across the state, but you make that whole pie bigger, everybody is going to benefit from that,” said Rempe.

Governor Ricketts hopes this will open the door for other Nebraska producers and employers.

“There is a great opportunity for Nebraska companies to be able to go over there and find business opportunities,” said Governor Pete Ricketts.

When thinking of more exports, the image of cargo ships waiting to doc may come to mind.

“That problem is still ongoing. So that supply chain issue is one we are going to have to continue to work on. Even with those issues, we had a record year for beef exports, we’ve had a record year for corn exports, soybeans are up so we are still seeing the ability for us to be able to meet those demands overseas, but it’s clear we are going to have to work on the supply chain,” said Governor Ricketts.

The Governor will be traveling to the U.K. and Ireland on a trade mission from August 20th through the 28th.  He invites anyone interested in expanding their customers and having business overseas to join him.

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