Congressman Adrian Smith hopes recent events only confirm the value of expanding trade.
Smith doesn’t want to see anyone overlook the significance of China buying American beef for the first time since 2003.
“We know that we have seen trade deficits for too long and this is just such a positive step in the right direction that I’m anxious to celebrate,” Smith tells reporters during a conference call.
China closed its doors to American beef in 2003 over concerns about Mad Cow disease. Work has been ongoing ever since to re-open the market with its growing potential for American beef exports.
Nebraska should benefit greatly. It is the leading beef producing state and the first beef to arrive in China was shipped by the Greater Omaha Packing Company. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue helped celebrate the arrival of Nebraska beef to China.
Another step Smith wants to see is confirmation of the benefits of NAFTA for American producers. Smith says the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada has greatly benefited American farmers and ranchers. He says he has been encouraged by the shift of wording by the Trump Administration, away from withdrawal and toward modernization.
“So that’s why I would like to say let’s modernize things where we need to, but let’s be mindful that we not lose our strong position where it’s obvious the numbers point to that,” Smith says.
Smith says talk of withdrawing from NAFTA would be looking backward. He wants the United States to look forward toward making NAFTA stronger.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]