Jay Rempe, the Farm Bureau’s senior economist, says the report details the top three commodity exports.
“The first three — soybeans, corn and beef — were all over a billion dollars and distiller’s grain is at about $300-million,” Rempe says. “Our exports in 2016 are three times the value that they were in the year 2000, so that’s a figure that has been growing.”
Jordan Dux, the bureau’s national affairs coordinator, says the report came at the request of the state’s farmers and ranchers who are concerned about a possible trade war. He says those concerns surfaced after the Trump administration began pushing for tariffs on steel and aluminum and threatened withdrawal from existing agreements.
Dux fears Nebraska’s major trade partners might retaliate.
“When you go down this path, it certainly is our fear that you begin that process of initiating what we’ve talked about as a trade war, where you have a tit-for-tat retaliation for things,” Dux says. “That’s a very real concern for us.”
Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson says they’ll be sharing the report with President Trump and with members of Congress.
Nelson says the message they want to send to the president and Congress is clear: Don’t do anything that would harm agricultural trade.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton