Gov. Pete Ricketts insists President Trump isn’t anti-trade, even though he has canceled the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Known as TPP, the ambitious trade agreement was negotiated by the Obama Administration and 11 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Congress failed to approve the agreement before President Obama left office.
Ricketts says President Trump is looking for a better deal.
“I’ve had the chance to talk with the president before he became president specifically about trade,” Ricketts tells reporters. “I think what the president understands is right now he has a limited window of time to be able to get the best deal possible as a new president in all these trade deals. That’s what he wants. He wants the best deals for our companies and our producers here in the state.”
Nebraska agricultural groups, in particular, championed TPP because it would have lifted tariffs imposed on American agricultural products. Manufacturers also saw opportunity with TPP. Ricketts, as well as nearly all elective officials in Nebraska, backed the deal.
Ricketts says Trump pulled out of TPP not because he’s anti-trade, but because he didn’t like the deal.
“He believes that it’s important to have trade and we want that as well,” Ricketts says. “So, what we’re looking for is for the administration to help us open up those trade opportunities with regard to those Pacific Rim countries and he has a different approach, that doesn’t mean that we won’t have still have the opportunity to open up those trade opportunities and expand the markets for our producers and our companies here in Nebraska.”