Governor Pete Ricketts was at the airport in Toronto, Canada earlier today before heading to Ottawa as he and other dignitaries continue on their trade mission. He says this has been an excellent opportunity to open doors to trade on both sides of the border.
Governor Ricketts says, “We export about $1.6 billion in goods and services to Canada every year and the way to grow your business is you want to start with your best customers so we are saying thank you and looking for new opportunities to open up doors for our producers and companies in Nebraska and to also seek companies in Canada looking to invest in Nebraska to create jobs there.”
Ricketts met with several trade ministers during his travels and the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, has been a concern to both countries. He says trips like this are planned well in advance and was not in conjunction with the talks on renegotiating NAFTA that start on August 16th. However, Governor Ricketts says that is a topic of discussion. He says they want to see this agreement improved as the world continues to change. Governor Ricketts says, “We want to make sure that we keep in mind the bigger picture that this has been a tremendously successful relationship and NAFTA has been a tremendously successful agreement for the state of Nebraska. Hundreds of millions of dollars in beef flow back and forth between Canada every year and that is an important relationship we don’t want to disrupt.”
No Nebraska governor has gone to Canada before and Governor Ricketts says this shows how government is a business in Nebraska. He says it is always a good idea to start with your best customer. He and other Nebraska dignitaries are in Nebraska to say thank you. He says he spoke with a company last night that is interested in expanding and Nebraska is an option.