Gov. Pete Ricketts defends the trade stance of President-elect Donald Trump.
Ricketts says he doesn’t believe Trump’s perspective is all that different than his on trade. Ricketts says he had a chance to talk with Trump earlier this year about the importance of trade to Nebraska. Ricketts says Trump indicated he would rather negotiate directly with countries than sign a multi-country agreement such as the Trans Pacific Partnership.
TPP is favored by most Nebraska agricultural groups, which say it would lead to greater exports of Nebraska agricultural products.
Ricketts says Trump has been unfairly labeled as anti-trade. Ricketts says Trump simply believes many of the trade deals the US has signed of late have been bad deals.
“I think what we’re saying is we want to open up opportunities and he’s got a strategy for getting better deals for our companies and, frankly, when it comes to China it’s really kind of the same thing is that I think that he wants to have good relationships with China,” Ricketts tells LNK Today on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “He wants to be able to open up those trade opportunities, but he also wants to make sure our companies are getting a fair shake.”
Ricketts notes that China is not part of TPP. Instead, China negotiates directly with individual countries.
Rickets praises decision to name Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as ambassador to China.
Ricketts calls it a “fantastic choice,” noting that Branstad has a close relationship to President Xi Jinping of China, who he describes as an “old friend.”
“This is almost like the carrot and the stick where President-elect Trump has been saying, hey we’re going to relook at these trade deals. We’re going to get a much better deal. That is the rhetoric of the stick,” according to Ricketts. “Then he picks Gov. Branstad, which is kind of a carrot, to say hey, we’re going to put somebody in place who is a friend so that you’ll know we’re negotiating from an honest standpoint, we’re being authentic with you.”
Ricketts says Branstad understands the importance of trade with China to the Midwest.