IBACH URGES TOP FEDERAL OFFICIALS TO EXPEDITE EFFORTS TO OPEN UP BEEF EXPORTS TO CHINA, MAINTAIN MOMENTUM ON KEY TRADE AGREEMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – In letters to two top U.S. federal government officials, Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach is requesting efforts to facilitate the movement of U.S. beef to China be expedited, and calling for continued activity on pending trade agreements with European and Asian countries.

Ibach hand-delivered the letters this week as he chaired the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) winter policy meetings in Washington, D.C.  Ibach is president of NASDA, and the group heard from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, as well as Darci Vetter, who is the lead agriculture negotiator for U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, during its meetings.

In the letters, Ibach specifically mentioned a pending resolution between the United States and China that would open up increased opportunities for Nebraska beef exports.

“It is my understanding the United States and China have reached agreement on the parameters, with only the specific protocols to be finalized. I urge you both to complete these export protocols as soon as possible,” Ibach said.

In addition, Ibach urged continued efforts to finalize the pending multi-nation trade agreement known as TPP.

“The recently completed negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership will open even greater access for our nation’s and Nebraska’s agriculture interests,” said Ibach in the letters to Vilsack and Froman. “The State of Nebraska and its agricultural leaders remain strong supporters of these types of agreements and will continue to advocate for the approval of this and other trade agreements.”

Ibach went on to point out the importance of the continuing negotiations on another critical trade agreement.

“In addition, ongoing talks regarding another ambitious and important multicontinental agreement, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, should be heightened so that forward momentum will not be lost,” Ibach said. “I am excited about the opportunities for free and fair trade between Europe and North America, should this agreement reach a successful conclusion.”