Nebraska U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer and fellow senators met last week with President Donald Trump to discuss the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Sen. Fischer told the president that stepping out of the agreement could have a negative impact on Nebraska’s ag economy and allow competitors to take advantage of the situation…
“I spoke about manufacturing as well…for example the Case IH plant in Grand Island. We see that Canada is their biggest trading partner, how important that is. Also, I tried to visit with him about China….and that China should concern us all when it comes to trade and the counterfeiting that takes place that the Chinese do with products. We need to be focused on really, a competitor…and that would be China.”
Fischer says President Trump was receptive to what the senators had to say…
Fischer, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, also met last week with the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to impress on him the value of NAFTA to Nebraska. The second of three meetings on renegotiating NAFTA is set for Jan. 23-28 in Montreal.
Fischer says NAFTA is very important in the marketing of Nebraska’s exports. Fischer says Mexico and Canada are Nebraska’s largest customers for agricultural products. According to the U.S Chamber of Commerce, 91,400 Nebraska jobs are supported by NAFTA.
Sen. Fischer is hopeful the conference committee is able to reach agreement on the first tax reform bill in 31 years to send to the President’s desk. Sen. Fischer says the Senate version provides advantages to those who itemize, although she acknowledges only 28 percent of Nebraskans do so. But Fischer says that number will go down because of the doubling of the standard deduction and the advantages that families have there….
Fischer says her first priority with the bill was to provide tax relief to middle-class families and she believes that goal is accomplished. She hopes the conference committee is able to work out an agreement soon so the legislation can go to Pres. Donald Trump for his signature. Sen. Fischer stopped in Lexington over the weekend and toured Lexington Regional Health Center prior to an interview with the Rural Radio Network.