Gov. Pete Ricketts is pleased with his recent three-day trade mission to Mexico, as well as the Trump Administration trade deal with the country.
Ricketts led a group of more than 20 Nebraskans, representing all the major commodity groups, in meetings with Mexican business leaders, government officials, and agricultural groups. Ricketts says he had heard rumors of a trade deal developing when he left on the trip.
“And, when we were down in Mexico, the Mexican officials really confirmed that back to us, that they had heard from their trade officials that we were very close on an agreement,” Ricketts tells Nebraska Radio Network. “So, hearing both sides saying the same thing certainly gave me cause for optimism as he headed back to Nebraska.”
Mexico is Nebraska’s second largest agriculture partner. Of the $1.5 billion dollars in trade a year with Nebraska, $1 billion is Nebraska ag products.
Ricketts remains anxious for the Trump Administration to finalize deals with other countries.
“So, there are certainly opportunities to improve these trade agreements and what my message back to the administration will be is continue to get these wrapped up,” Ricketts says. “Told them, congratulations on getting Mexico done, now let’s continue to work on getting the other ones done.”
Negotiations with Canada have yet to be completed. Canada is Nebraska’s top trade partner.
Ricketts says Mexican officials discussed their preference for Nebraska goods and said they want to develop their beef and pork industries, which could lead to the sale of more Nebraska corn and soybeans to Mexico as feedstuff.
The governor’s office reports that upon arriving in Mexico City, the delegation met with several business leaders at a luncheon hosted by Eugenio Madero, CEO of Rassini, a major manufacturing company. Afterwards, the U.S. Embassy hosted a reception.
The delegation toured the Preferred Popcorn-owned facility outside of Mexico City on the second day.
Day three included a tour of SENASICA (the National Service for Agroalimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality and counterpart of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), according to the governor’s office.
The delegation included the Nebraska Governor’s Office, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Soybean Board, Nebraska Soybean Association, Nebraska Beef Council, Nebraska Sorghum Board, Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, Nebraska Pork Producers, Nebraska Wheat Board, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Preferred Popcorn, New Alliance Bean Co-op, Bruckman Rubber, Innovative Prosthetics, and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]