Gov. Pete Ricketts says it is important to talk up the benefits of trade, especially in light of political rhetoric which brings its benefits in question.
Ricketts has heard the presidential stump speeches that cast doubt on the benefits of trade, even from his own party’s nominee.
“Well, I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with Republican candidate Donald Trump and talk to him specifically about trade and he was very open to talking about those issues,” Ricketts tells reporters, adding that he spoke to Trump about the benefits Nebraska could expect from the Trans Pacific Partnership, especially the Nebraska agricultural sector.
Trump has questioned TPP and other trade deals. President Barack Obama supports TPP and hopes to get it through Congress before the end of the year.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton once spoke favorably about TPP, but cooled on the measure during her Democratic primary race with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a big opponent of TPP.
The rhetoric from both presidential camps has turned increasingly against trade, suggesting trade deals in the past have not benefitted American workers.
Ricketts says Nebraska benefits greatly from trade, both through expanding exports and attracting investment.
“We did the trade mission last year that was very successful in helping attract investment from Japan into our country. Japan is our largest foreign direct investors,” Ricketts says. “And companies such as Geist and Morio Denki and Kawasaki have made commitments here that help create jobs right here in Nebraska.”
Ricketts has just announced a $405 million trade deal with Taiwan.
AUDIO: Brent Martin report [:45]