State officials will sign a letter of intent with Taiwan to sell $405 million worth of Nebraska agricultural products in the Asian country.
Gov. Pete Ricketts says the state agriculture director will travel to Taiwan next week to formally sign the agreement.
“So we want to continue to look for opportunities to be able to grow our state, whether it’s getting investments here in our state to create jobs here at home or expanding on relationships and markets overseas,” Ricketts tells reporters during a news conference in his office. “This letter of intent we are going to sign with Taiwan is a great example of how we can continue to develop relationships with a customer who has been wonderful in the past and will continue to be important for us in the future.”
State Agriculture Director Greg Ibach says the agreement includes the sale of corn, soybeans, wheat, distiller’s grain, beef, and pork. It is the first time such an agreement with Taiwan includes meat.
Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson says agriculture needs to expand trade to boost sagging prices.
“We are in a time of very tight margins in agriculture, not just in Nebraska, but all across the country,” according to Nelson. “Trade is extremely important to helping maintain or bolstering the profitability that we have in agriculture.”
Director General Jerry Chang in the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver says Nebraska commodities are sought after in Taiwan.
“I think we have enjoyed a very good relationship with your great state over the years,” Chang says.
This is a three-year extension of a current trade agreement with Taiwan.
AUDIO: Gov. Pete Ricketts holds news conference on $405 million trade deal with Taiwan. [8:30]