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Trade champion sees bright future for NE in global economy
Nebraska Ag Connection - 02/23/2024

Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith sees bright prospects for the state's economy through strategic engagement in the global market. He emphasizes the importance of rules-based trade agreements that prioritize enforcement and scientific grounding.

Speaking at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Smith commended the Clayton Yeutter Institute for its leadership in promoting international trade education and exploring economic opportunities for Nebraska. He lauded the institute's recent launch of a trade minor program, accessible to all students.

Smith, a strong advocate for agriculture, highlighted the legacy of Clayton Yeutter, a Nebraskan who played a pivotal role in reducing trade barriers for US agricultural exports. He emphasized the importance of innovation in agriculture, praising the university's research efforts and Nebraska Extension's role in disseminating knowledge to producers.

He identified trade as a rare area where bipartisan cooperation is possible in Washington. He believes well-structured trade agreements benefit both consumers and manufacturers by providing access to diverse markets and essential inputs. He noted that Nebraska's Third District, which he represents, leads the nation in agricultural product value, making trade crucial for the state's economic well-being.

Smith expressed his disappointment with the Biden administration's perceived lack of initiative in pursuing new market access opportunities. He sees potential in bilateral agreements with the UK and Kenya and urged the administration to take action.

He applauded the renegotiation of NAFTA under the Trump administration as an example of successful bipartisan trade policy innovation. He emphasized the importance of enforcing the agreement, particularly in light of Mexico's recent attempt to restrict imports of US genetically modified corn.

Smith stressed the need for trade policy to be guided by science, not political agendas. He criticized countries that use non-tariff barriers for political reasons, hindering US agricultural exports.

He believes the best outcomes are achieved when the administration works collaboratively with Congress on trade policy. He sees a shift away from China and towards friendly nations as a potential solution to current supply chain challenges.

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