Nebraska saw a 15% drop in exports for the first quarter of this year over the same quarter last year.
The Husker State relies heavily on agricultural trade for its economic wellbeing and Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist Jay Rempe says several factors may be to blame.
“The uncertainty that’s out in the global markets right now with economic growth and with Brexit and all the things happening with China, that just creates a lot of uncertainty in the markets and that’s weighing down on exports some.”
Rempe says the high value of the U.S. dollar also makes American-made products less competitive overseas.
Nebraska exports make up nearly 6% of the state’s gross domestic product and Rempe says that’s why exports are extremely important to Nebraska’s overall economy.
Rempe says, “When you look at the goods and products that we export out of the state of Nebraska, obviously, agriculture is at the top of the list with food, but, a lot of related industries in manufacturing, like farm equipment, machinery, center-pivot irrigation, all of those things that are related to agriculture are big export markets for us as well.”
The lack of action in Congress on trade agreements has also impacted Nebraska’s exports, and he adds, the anti-trade sentiment adopted by both major party presidential candidates isn’t good for agriculture.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton