Nebraska ag exports near record high in 2020, NEFB says trade needs more focus

A recent report from Nebraska Farm Bureau shows the state’s ag exports topped $7 billion in 2020 and the organization says that number could be higher with more emphasis on international trade.

Jordan Dux is the director of national affairs. “Now is the time for action.  What we’ve seen from the Biden administration over the last year is little action.”

NEFB’s Nebraska Agriculture and International Trade report for 2020 showed soybeans were the top export and grew by 41 percent from the previous year.  Corn exports increased by 24 percent and beef exports fell in 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges.

Dux says NEFB’s trade priorities start with China. “And now we need some level of stabilized trading relationship with China so Nebraska farmers and ranchers – farmers and ranchers across the country – continue to see the economic benefit from that trading relationship.”

He says another priority is finding new markers. “Whether that be the U.K, the EU – President Trump started things with Kenya as well – there’s a long list of other countries we’d like to see a trading relationship with. Again, finding new markets outside of existing ones are very important.”

Dux says that also includes work on the Trade Promotion Authority and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Dux says they are also supportive of the World Trade Organization. “Or continue in and make sure the WTO, while warranted and needed of reform, continues to be operable and continues to be a functioning body that again forces countries to play by the same rules and make sure producers and businesses are treated fairly.”

The report says roughly 30 percent of each dollar that Nebraska producers make is linked to exports.

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