A Nebraska Congressman says the nation needs to work on new trade agreements in wake of the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Congressman Adrian Smith, as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, had been assigned to study a portion of the huge agreement reached between the Obama Administration and 11 Pacific Rim countries.
He doesn’t call it wasted time, even though President Trump spiked the deal.
“What I’ve learned around here is that diligence really does pay off long term,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network, adding the study put in is preparation for the next chapter of an issue.
Smith says the Trump Administration needs to begin bilateral talks with countries, because Nebraska agriculture and manufacturing depend on trade.
“When you really reflect on the fact that 96% of the world’s customers live outside our country, we want to be prepared to sell our products and that means we need good trade policy,” Smith says.
Smith acknowledges TPP has its shortcomings and he says it didn’t have the votes to pass Congress. President Obama attempted to get it approved before he left office, but never got a vote.
Pharmaceutical and tobacco interests objected to the agreement, according to Smith, while agricultural interests saw great opportunity in TPP. Smith says Nebraska beef and pork stood to benefit, especially with tariffs coming down in Japan, a potentially huge market for Nebraska agricultural products.
Smith says the United States needs to move quickly to reach trade deals with the countries involved in TPP, because other countries will attempt to seize the opportunity left by our pulling out of the agreement.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]