Gov. Ricketts, Ag Groups Support Federal Trade Promotion Authority
Lincoln – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and Agriculture Director Greg Ibach were joined last week by farmers and ranchers representing a cross-section of Nebraska agriculture to urge federal leaders for approval of Presidential Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).
In a letter sent to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, the Governor, Director and leaders representing 22 Nebraska agriculture organizations pointed out the importance of international trade to Nebraska’s economy. The letter cited the $7.3 billion in products the state exported in 2013 and noted much of those exports were tied to agriculture and the processing sector tied to it.
“TPA is a critical tool in successful negotiation of trade agreements, including two pending multi-country trade agreements,” said Governor Ricketts. “Both the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreements hold enormous potential for the continued growth of Nebraska agricultural exports.”
Director Ibach said passage of TPP and TTIP would lower tariffs on Nebraska agricultural goods, making the state’s products even more competitive with other nations active in those markets.
“It is my understanding that TPA is important to bringing those agreements to fruition,” Ibach said.
TPA gives the President the authority to negotiate international trade agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove, but cannot amend or filibuster.
In total, 27 agriculture organization leaders signed the letter authored by Governor Ricketts in show of support of his call for TPA. The group included farmers and ranchers who produce livestock, grain, dairy and specialty crops. The letter was signed during the 27th annual Governor’s Ag Conference in Kearney.