Table of Contents

Appendix A: List of Interviewees

Appendix B: Extended Methodology

Appendix C: Nebraska’s Economy and Workforce

Appendix D: Trade in Nebraska

Appendix E: Cost of Trade Barriers to Nebraska’s Consumers

Appendix A: List of Interviewees


Cindi Allen, assistant secretary of state, Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office

Cobus Block, Nebraska Department of Economic Development

Robert Evnen, secretary of state, Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office

Jessie Herrmann, vice president of legal and government affairs

Steve Nelson, president, Nebraska Farm Bureau

Pete Ricketts, governor

Steve Wellman, Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Angel Velitchkov, Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office


K.C. Belitz, nonprofit

Tammy Bichlmeier, Columbus Area United Way

Larry Brenner, Kosch Financial

James Bulkley, mayor

Brian Williams, economist, Nebraska Public Power District

Jim Hellbusch, manufacturing

Troy Loeffelholz, superintendent

Katy McNeil, administrative assistant in education

Vanessa Oceguera, public education

Elizabeth Rodriguez, office manager

Dale Rosendahl, Rosendahl Farms Seed and Feed

Anonymous, Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce

Anonymous, education

Anonymous, former teacher, retired

Anonymous, electric utility, Nebraska Public Power District

Anonymous (nine Columbus residents)


Charles Bicak, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Brock Elsen, agriculture

Duane Kristensen, agriculture/ethanol

Satoshi Machida, professor

John McCoy, Orthman

Mike Peck, Rabo AgriFinance

Elizabeth Roetman, employment agency

Derek Rusher, Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce

Dulce Valdez Espinoza, education

Anonymous (four Kearney residents)


Andy Hunzeker, chief financial officer, Lincoln Industries

Ryan Anderson, UNL Office of Research and Economic Development

Dennis Berens, healthcare (State of Nebraska), retired

Bruce Bohrer, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce

Laurie Colburn, Nebraska Department of Education

Sheila Dorsey Vinton, chief executive officer, Asian Community and Cultural Center

Noah Greenwald, Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development/Nebraska Angel Investors

Gary Heaston, consultant, employee benefits, retired

Bruce Johnson, retired

Peter Levitov, UNL, retired

Kayla Meyer, Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development

Sandra Miller

Randall Moody, lawyer/lobbyist, retired

Martin Neary, hospitality

Renae Ninneman, nonprofit

Lana Novak, retired

Kari Schmitz, Hudl

Joe Seewald, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Harriet Turner, Hispanic Studies, emerita

Jason Varga, nonprofit

Gary White, education

Christa Yoakum, Nebraska Appleseed (nonprofit)/Lancaster County commissioner

Anonymous, business owner

Anonymous, community outreach specialist

Anonymous, director of talent strategy, Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development

Anonymous, economist, professor, attorney, and editor

Anonymous, public health nurse

Anonymous, college professor, retired

Anonymous, education, retired

Anonymous, Waverly, retired

Anonymous, UNL, retired

Anonymous (nine Lincoln residents)

North Platte

Lisa Burke, executive director, North Platte/Lincoln County Visitor Bureau

Cassie Condon, North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation

Alan Erickson, self-employed

Levi Fisher, Equitable Bank

Nolan Gurnsey, Linden Court

Jereme Hartman, Edward Jones financial adviser

Joseph Hewgley, private business, county government

Duane McClain, agribusiness real estate broker

Gary Person, president and chief executive officer, North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation

Eric Seacrest, Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation

Anonymous, banking

Anonymous (six North Platte residents)


Ethan Fickbohm, Omaha Jaycees

Rosey Higgs, program director

Nathan Jones, Assurance Business Solutions

Lou Ann Linehan, state senator

Jeff Mikesell, senior military liaison, Greater Omaha Chamber

Chris Rodgers, chairman, Douglas County Board of Commissioners

Michael Salerno, vice president of global banking, First National Bank of Omaha

Craig Stoffel, vice president of global logistics, Werner Enterprises

Lance Dixon, Werner Enterprises

Anonymous, social work student

Anonymous, works with/promotes business development

Anonymous, education

Anonymous (two Omaha residents)


Karen Anderson, Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce

Jacob Aulick, Aulick Industries

Tom Holyoke, attorney

Nathan Johnson, city manager

Charles Knapper, risk manager, Aulick Industries, and Scotts Bluff county commissioner

Starr Lehl, economic development director

Don Osborn, marketing

Owen Palm, 21st Century Equipment

Kelly Strey, sales representative, B&C Steel

Bryan Venable, economic development

Susan Wiedeman, Gering city council member

Anonymous (six Scottsbluff/Gering residents)

Appendix B: Extended Methodology


Prior to data collection, the research team identified communities of interest covering geographical areas of the state that would maximize viewpoints from various economic sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture (ranching, farming, and processing), agribusiness, insurance, banking, and education. The communities are highlighted in Figure 8. The research team opted to avoid the state’s northeastern area because its communities were still under stress from flooding.

The research team used a snowball sampling technique to identify community leaders, agricultural leaders, business leaders, and community residents to participate in the study from each community.1 A research team member contacted identified leaders at local chambers of commerce, economic development departments, or city or county administrative offices to seek recommendations for interview or focus group participants. A team member then scheduled a one-day immersive site visit in each community, where up to ten interviews and up to two focus groups were conducted.


Each scheduled interview lasted no longer than forty-five minutes and included between two and five members of the research team. Each focus group lasted no longer than ninety minutes and included five team members. Interviews and focus groups followed a semi-structured interview format that assessed (1) what foreign policies were relevant to the person, organization, or community; (2) what changes to foreign policies were recommended; (3) which foreign policies most impacted Nebraska; (4) what factors influenced Nebraska’s middle class; and, if time permitted, (5) specific reactions to foreign policies of interest. Each interview and focus group was audio recorded.

After the conclusion of each interview, the participant(s) completed a short postsurvey to identify how she or he elected to be attributed and provide demographics. Some interviews were also conducted via video conference using Zoom. A sample of the interview protocol can be found below. After the conclusion of each focus group, the participant(s) completed a short postsurvey to identify how she or he elected to be attributed and provide demographics. Participants in the focus group were provided with refreshments and a $50 incentive for their time. A copy of the full focus group protocol can be found below.

Interview Protocol

Interviews and focus groups began by introducing the UNL and Carnegie interview team, the purpose of the study, and the interview format. The interviewee(s) was/were also given background on how the team would be using the term U.S. foreign policy: “U.S. foreign policy in general refers to the way in which the United States pursues its interests in the world, through its interactions with other countries and international institutions. For the purposes of this study, U.S. foreign policy includes foreign aid/development assistance; defense spending and national security strategy; and trade, economic, and commercial relations with other nations.”

After the initial introduction, the conversations were driven by the following set of questions:

  1. Please briefly describe your role in the community or state (asked only in interviews).
  2. Are there particular foreign policies or items that affect you more directly?
    1. Prompt: How are you learning about these changes to foreign policies (for example, local chambers of commerce, the Small Business Administration, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the news)? How do you learn about foreign policy and trade changes or issues of interest?
    2. Prompt: When you think about U.S. foreign policy, what policies or practices come to mind?
    3. Prompt: How do you think others in your community (or in Nebraska) think about trade and foreign policy? In regard to their business decisions or economic decisions?
  3. How, if at all, do you think about trade in your daily business or economic decisions? What about foreign policy?
    1. Prompt: How do changes in trade policy impact your decisionmaking?
    2. Prompt: What more do you need to know about foreign policy and trade to better inform your decisionmaking, if anything?
  4. What foreign policies do you feel are most relevant to your community?
    1. Prompt: How might others in your community consider foreign policies? (ask only if additional prompts are needed)
    2. Prompt: How do you think others in your community (or in Nebraska) think about trade and foreign policy? In regard to their business decisions or economic decisions?
  5. In what ways do you think foreign policy impacts the economic well-being of Nebraska?
  6. What, if any, changes would you like to see in trade or foreign policies that would improve economic well-being?
  7. How, if at all, do you feel you have a voice or influence on U.S. foreign policies?
  8. Prompt (if topics were not brought up earlier): What, if any, interactions have you had with international organizations or individuals?
    1. Services exports: technology, travel, tourism, medical
      1. Travel—military, visa processing, embassies
    2. Agriculture: trade, stability, commodity prices, shipping
    3. Energy: sources, export, environmental issues
    4. Defense: military and aerospace industries
    5. Foreign aid: development assistance
    6. Trade: embargoes, tariffs
    7. Workforce: guest workers in Nebraska (skilled, documented, or undocumented), Nebraska’s workers that are abroad, Nebraska companies located elsewhere or vice versa
    8. Other
  9. How, if at all, do you think foreign policies impact the economic wellness of the middle class in your community?
    1. Prompt: What factors influence a person’s or household’s economic wellness in the middle class in your community?


Interviews and focus groups were each transcribed, yielding 689 single-spaced pages. Transcripts were uploaded to Atlas.ti©, a qualitative software package. Next, the interviews were initially coded using the constant comparative technique.2 This resulted in thirty-nine total codes falling under four families: foreign policies, general concerns, industry sector, and community. The research team collaboratively constructed a coding guide with a broad definition for each code and family. Once a codebook was established and agreed upon, all interviews and focus groups were coded independently.

Once initial coding was complete, the report function of Atlas.ti© was used to generate a list of quotations for each code and co-occurrences of each code. The lists of quotations were reviewed by the coders, who employed a deductive process to arrive at themes for each area. Themes were thus identified from the data rather than from a prescribed codebook. The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center research team reviewed the fourteen themes with the rest of the research team.

The units of analysis are the interview or focus group transcripts. Some interviews were conducted with individuals and some were conducted with groups of individuals; at least one focus group was held in each community (see Table 8).

Participant demographics were assessed via the postsurvey. Postsurvey data were analyzed for descriptive statistics to report on the diversity of participants.

Blueprint Nebraska Methodology and Analysis3

In addition to interviews and focus groups, the research team considered information from the recently completed Blueprint Nebraska survey. Blueprint Nebraska is a strategic plan developed by a group of business, industry, and civic leaders who released a report, which was partly based on a survey of the economic concerns of Nebraskans and which offered a detailed set of proposals for addressing them. The Blueprint Nebraska plan was established based on a survey that gave Nebraskans the opportunity to provide feedback on various topics including agriculture; banking and finance; community vitality; educational attainment; energy and natural resources; entrepreneurship; healthcare; housing; leadership, diversity, and inclusion; manufacturing; mega-sites for future development; military and veterans’ affairs; taxation and incentives; technology and innovation; transportation; and workforce.

The survey was conducted online between August 2018 and December 2018; 4,839 people completed and submitted responses to at least one item on the survey. The survey was initially intended for business owners but later opened up to the general public; therefore, respondents are not statistically representative of Nebraska’s sociodemographic profile. Data from that survey were compared with data from this Nebraska case study to understand how, if at all, topics and themes are consistent over time.

The Blueprint Nebraska survey information was analyzed using the Text iQ function in Qualtrics©. Topic words were used to identify potential themes regarding foreign policy. Topic words included things such as trade, energy, tariffs, and immigration. For each survey question asked, the list of topics would indicate the number of times a topic was mentioned. Then, topics were sorted into groups according to whether they were mentioned in a foreign context. From there, themes were identified and topics were further sorted based on the opinions that individuals had on the topic. For example, trade was sorted into two groups based on whether the respondents had mentioned trade within a foreign context and was then further sorted into two themes: for or against trade.

Appendix C: Nebraska’s Economy and Workforce

Nebraska’s economy is historically agricultural-based. While this tradition continues, its economy has become increasingly diversified. As shown in Tables 9 and 10, Nebraska’s service industries—including trade, transportation and utilities, and education and healthcare—contribute substantially to the state’s GDP and employment. Nebraska, however, lags behind the nation as a whole in terms of the share of its economy in several high-wage industries, such as information and the professional, scientific, and technical services component of the professional and business services industry.4

Recently, job growth in Nebraska has been highest among manufacturing, accommodation, food services, and support services (such as document preparation and clerical services, cleaning services, and hiring and search services).5 However, manufacturing growth is projected to slow down in Nebraska over the long term.6 It has already fallen behind national growth trends.7

Meanwhile, service industry employment is expected to grow by 1.2 percent to 1.3 percent per year through 2022. Service industry jobs already account for eight of the top ten occupations in Nebraska, though many of these jobs pay less than middle-income wages (see Table 11). Thus, to attain middle-income status, many Nebraskans work more hours per week and hold multiple jobs (see Chapter 4).

The agricultural industry has similar symptoms of workforce shortages and some low-paying jobs. But while the strictly defined industry—characterized as “establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, harvesting timber, [or] harvesting fish and other animals from a farm, ranch or their natural habitat”—may only make up less than 1 percent of employment, it is a dominant part of the economy.8 At 5 percent of GDP, agriculture in Nebraska contributes significantly more to its economic output than it does in most other U.S. states. Moreover, as noted in Chapter 2, the industry’s statistics do not capture the larger web of industries directly related to the agricultural production complex. The complex includes processing, transportation, warehousing, manufacturing, finance and insurance, and other service industries, among others. Thus, many of the manufacturing and service jobs detailed above are directly or indirectly related to this industry. The dominance of agriculture in production and processing/manufacturing in Nebraska is what is thought to drive much of the stability in the economy.9

Overall, the state’s economy, influenced by the agricultural production complex and its growing service industry, expects moderate economic growth to continue through 2022 but at a pace slower than the national rate.10

Appendix D: Trade in Nebraska

In 2018, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and Department of Agriculture reported that the state exported approximately $10.2 billion worth of goods, growing 29 percent since 2010. Nebraska’s top exports were agricultural-related. As shown in Figure 9, the state’s top-three exported products were, in order: soybeans, corn, and beef and beef products.11

The geographic distribution of the state’s agricultural export products follows a clear geographic pattern, as shown in Figure 10. According to the Nebraska Farm Bureau, the state’s most productive counties, in terms of export value, are largely situated across the center of the state, adjacent to the Platte River and Interstate 80.12 Nebraskans were most concerned with foreign policies and, specifically, trade agreements that affected the dominant agricultural products in their respective counties.

Nebraska’s dominant export markets are U.S. trade agreement partners. Of these, North America is the top destination for the state’s goods, with Canada and Mexico receiving 18.5 and 12.1 percent of exports, respectively. Mexico accounts for 25 percent of all corn exports from the state, and Canada is a major destination for nonagricultural products, such as nuclear reactor parts and mineral fuel, in addition to beef. According to the Nebraska Departments of Economic Development and Agriculture, at 12.3 percent of exports, Japan was a slightly larger market for exports than Mexico in 2018. It was the destination of almost 30 percent of Nebraska’s beef and beef product exports. The country is also a major importer of corn, pork, and soybeans. South Korea and China are the fourth- and fifth-largest export destinations, making up 7 and 6 percent of Nebraska’s export market, respectively. Like Japan, both are major importers of Nebraska’s top agricultural exports.13 Other countries in Southeast Asia, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, are viewed as prime areas for future export growth.14

The 2019 data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau show that exports have decreased from Nebraska over the last year. While U.S. census data likely underreport the amount of agricultural exports from Nebraska—due to being based on origin of movement rather than production (see endnote)—this information provides insight into more recent export trends for the state.15 Exports to North American partners have grown substantially since 2016 but experienced a slight downturn this past year. Japan and South Korea also experienced only a slight reduction in exports last year after three years of continuous growth.16 But exports to China decreased more substantially, by 27 percent, since the trade war began in 2017. This was largely a factor of reduced imports of Nebraska soybeans as well as hides and skins, a major import for the last nine years. The decoupling from China’s import market could likely change with recent reports of China planning to increase U.S. soybean imports after signing the phase one trade deal with the United States in January 2020.17

In terms of jobs supported by exports, the International Trade Administration estimated that Nebraska exports supported approximately 53,000 U.S. jobs in 2015—57 percent of which were supported by manufactured goods exports.18 The Brookings Export Monitor report indicates that, in 2017, 51,300 jobs in Nebraska were directly related to exports, and another 42,000 jobs—mainly in Nebraska but also in other warehousing, transportation, and distribution states—were supported by Nebraska exports.19

In 2014, 2,016 different companies exported from locations in Nebraska, of which 1,638 (81.3 percent) were designated as small- and medium-sized exporters.20 As noted in Chapter 3, Nebraskans across the state perceive trade, specifically exports, as important to their economic well-being (by way of the agricultural production complex). A sizable portion of Nebraska’s jobs (up to one-quarter) are indirectly or directly tied to agriculture, the state’s top export industry.21

Trade in Nebraska has a substantial impact on the state’s economy, largely through agricultural trade with Canada, Japan, and Mexico, as well as significant markets in China and South Korea. The perceived significance of international trade and Nebraskans’ opinions on the issue are detailed in Chapter 3.

Appendix E: Cost of Trade Barriers to Nebraska’s Consumers

It is difficult to isolate the impact of tariffs on the economy broadly and on prices for final goods and services specifically—that is, the higher prices that household consumers pay. This appendix provides one accounting of the implications of tariffs on increased costs of final goods and services for middle-income households in Nebraska. It is estimated that the tariffs in place in 2017 increased household costs for Nebraska’s consumers but not demonstrably so. However, if the additional tariffs subsequently imposed in 2018 and 2019 were to become permanent, they would take a more significant toll on Nebraska’s households in the middle-income bracket.

Table 12 shows the estimated total nominal cost of tariffs to U.S. consumers in 2017. The table implicitly assumes that tariffs on imported goods are borne by U.S. entities rather than the country of origin, as found by Amiti et al.22 The first two columns show the value of imports and exports of goods by industry in 2017, before the Trump administration imposed the 2018 and 2019 rounds of tariffs. It is useful to focus on pre-2018 tariffs so as to provide an example of the cost of long-term tariff policies for U.S. consumers because it is unknown whether tariffs introduced in 2018 and 2019 will be permanent.

The administration has argued that these recent tariffs were imposed to encourage trading partners to open up their markets to U.S. goods and services and, in the case of China, to halt practices that violate the intellectual property rights of U.S. companies. Thus, from this perspective, these tariffs may be lifted when trade negotiations are resolved in the future. For example, tariffs imposed on $120 billion of Chinese goods on September 1, 2019, are being reduced as part of the phase one trade deal signed in January 2020 (the burden of tariffs imposed in 2018 and 2019 will still be considered later in this section).

The estimated tariffs on imported goods that would impact domestic consumers amounted to $30.9 billion in 2017. Just over one-third (36.2 percent) of that total, or $11.2 billion, was imposed on goods in the apparel and accessories industry. That industry did not have the largest value of imports but had the highest tariff rate, along with leather and allied products and textile mill products. Leather and allied products accounted for 13.1 percent of import duties imposed in 2017. Presumably, many of these types of products are final goods nearly ready to be sold to consumers. Outside of this handful of industries, U.S. tariffs on imported goods were relatively modest prior to 2018.

At a per-person rate, the cost of 2017 import tariffs was $95.18 for U.S. consumers (see Table 13). This additional cost is equivalent to $0.002 (one-fifth of one cent) per $1 of U.S. consumer expenditures.

Yet these are likely underestimates. In calculating per-person and per-dollar costs, it is implicitly assumed that the cost of tariffs is fully passed on to final consumers. Retail items such as apparel that are imported are passed on to consumers by distributors and retailers. Tariffs on parts that are imported by manufacturers to produce goods for the domestic market are ultimately passed on to consumers. Imported construction materials that are subject to tariffs are ultimately passed on to consumers in the form of higher housing costs or higher costs for retail or service purchases (in the case of construction materials used for business buildings). Even given this assumption, these tariff costs are likely significant underestimates. While firms paying an import tariff could raise prices by less than the costs of the tariffs, firms also may raise costs by more than the costs of the tariff. The outcome would depend on competitive conditions in each impacted industry.

More importantly, Table 13 only refers to higher prices for consumers on imported items. Domestic producers of items subject to tariffs also would be able to raise their prices, and these additional costs would not be reflected in Table 13. Also not included are the costs to consumers of any import quotas or other nontariff trade barriers that were present in 2017. Finally, the table does not consider costs to U.S. consumers due to so-called deadweight loss.

Next, to predict consumer costs for middle-class households in Nebraska specifically, household-income data are used. Following definitions used by the Pew Research Center, middle-class households are defined as middle-income, ranging from the lower end of middle-income (two-thirds of the median income) to the higher end of middle-income (double the median income) in 2016.23 Table 14 estimates consumer costs for middle-income, three-person households because the average household size in Nebraska is 2.46 people.24 Estimates are made by applying the tariff cost per dollar of U.S. domestic consumption in Table 13 ($0.002 per dollar spent) to consumer expenditures for households at three income levels: $40,902, $61,353, and $122,705.25

U.S. consumers units (such as households) with income in the $39,609–51,801 range consume $1.03 for each $1 of pre-tax income, while consumers with income in the $51,802–66,897 range spend $0.91 for each $1 earned, and consumers with income in the $109,743–155,555 range spend $0.71 for each $1 of pre-tax income. The share of pre-tax income spent declines as income rises since the effective tax rate and the savings rate both rise. The annual consumption expenditure for middle-income three-person households is between $42,066 and $86,720 per year.

The tariff cost of $0.002 per $1 spent is applied to these expenditure estimates to indicate that a three-person household at the lower bound of the middle class in Nebraska would pay tariffs of $98 per year. A median-income three-person household would pay tariffs of $130 per year, and a three-person household at the upper bound of the middle class would pay tariffs of $202 per year.

Thus, it is estimated that the low tariff regime present in the United States prior to 2018 would only affect the middle-class status of Nebraskans within a few hundred dollars of the upper and lower bounds of the middle-class income range. However, it is important to remember that the full cost of tariffs is higher because domestic producers of products subject to tariffs also can charge higher prices, and consumers also bear those higher prices. In addition, consumers would face the costs from deadweight loss and any costs due to quotas or other nontariff trade barriers.

Finally, tariffs imposed in 2018 and 2019 likely have doubled the tariff costs on imported items for middle-income three-person households in Nebraska (see Table 14). As shown in Figure 11, the average tariff applied on imported goods rose from 1.3 percent in December 2017 to a 3.0 to 3.4 percent range between July 2019 and January 2020. A larger number of households near the lower bound of the middle-income range in Nebraska would be in danger of falling out of the middle-income bracket, at least while these 2018 and 2019 tariffs are in place. Yet the tariffs that were imposed on $120 billion in Chinese goods on September 1, 2019, will be cut in half from 15 percent to 7.5 percent in February 2020.26 Additional tariffs imposed during 2018 and 2019 may be reduced or eliminated in future trade negotiations.


1 M. Q. Patton, Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods: Integrating Theory and Practice (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2014).

2 J. Corbin and A. Strauss, Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory, 4th Edition (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2015); and Y.S. Lincoln and E.G. Guba, Naturalistic Inquiry (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 1985).

3 For more information on this project and the full Blueprint Nebraska response, see “Growing the Good Life,” Blueprint Nebraska,

4 UNL Bureau of Business Research, “Producer Services: A Hub for STEM and an Engine for Job Growth,” Business in Nebraska 73, no. 724 (2019): 1–5,

5 Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, “Job Growth in Nebraska Continues, Especially for Some Occupations,” September 28, 2018,

6 UNL Bureau of Business Research, “Consumers Support a Slowing Economy,” Business in Nebraska 74, no. 725 (2019): 1–7,

7 Nebraska Department of Economic Development, “Nebraska’s Opportunity Economy,” June 2018,; and Nebraska Department of Economic Development, “Recent Trends in Selected Nebraska Economic Numbers,” January 3, 2020,

8 Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Regional Economic Accounts,”, accessed March 3, 2020.

9 Nebraska Department of Economic Development, “Nebraska’s Opportunity Economy,” June 2018,

10 UNL Bureau of Business Research, “Consumers Support a Slowing Economy,” Business in Nebraska 74, no. 725 (2019): 1–7,

11 Nebraska Department of Economic Development and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, “Nebraska Exports,” using U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural and Economic Research Services, updated October 10, 2019,

12 Nebraska Farm Bureau, “Nebraska Agriculture and International Trade,” 2016 data,

13 Nebraska Department of Economic Development and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, “Nebraska Exports.”

14 Nebraska Department of Economic Development, “Gov. Ricketts Announces International Trade Mission to Vietnam and Japan”; Ricketts, “From the Governor: Growing Nebraska Around the World,” The Banner Press, December 10, 2019,; Coffey, “What Is the Potential to Increase Exports of Nebraska Beef to Indonesia.”

15 U.S. Census Bureau, USA Trade Online, “State Exports by HS Commodities.”

The U.S. Census Bureau treats the state of export as the place where the goods are consolidated for shipment (for example, origin of movement). The use of origin of movement data can underestimate Nebraska’s reported exports because a number of the goods it produces for export are transported down the Mississippi to the port of New Orleans, where they are then consolidated and shipped. In those instances, the U.S. Census Bureau records the exports under Louisiana’s totals rather than Nebraska’s. This also is the case with other inland agricultural states.

A third estimation of goods exports is provided by the Brookings Institution, which reports annual trade data based on production location rather than origin of movement. According to this methodology, in 2017, goods and services worth $13.4 billion were produced for export from Nebraska (Nick Marchio and Joseph Parilla, “Export Monitor 2018”). It indicates that, in 2017, the top five goods-producing export industries in Nebraska were: agricultural producers, meat and poultry product producers, basic chemical producers, agricultural and construction machinery manufacturers, and medical equipment and supply manufacturers (Nick Marchio and Joseph Parilla, “Export Monitor 2018”).

16 U.S. Census Bureau, USA Trade Online, “State Exports by HS Commodities.”

17 “China to Significantly Increase U.S. Soybean Imports After Phase 1 Deal: Global Times,” Reuters, January 15, 2020,

18 International Trade Administration, “Nebraska Exports, Jobs, and Foreign Investment,” February 2017,

19 Nick Marchio and Joseph Parilla, “Export Monitor 2018.”

20 International Trade Administration, “Nebraska Exports, Jobs, and Foreign Investment,” February 2017,

21 Thompson, Johnson, and Giri, “The 2010 Economic Impact of the Nebraska Agricultural Production Complex.”

22 Mary Amiti, Stephen Redding, and David Weinstein, “The Impact of the 2018 Trade War on U.S. Prices and Welfare,” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper no. 25672 (2019),

23 Rakesh Kochhar, “The American Middle Class Is Stable in Size, but Losing Ground Financially to Upper-Income Families,” Pew Research Center, September 6, 2018,

24 U.S. Census Bureau, “QuickFacts: Nebraska,”, accessed February 7, 2020.

25 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Census Bureau, “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services December 2017,” FT-900 Supplement, Exhibit 1, February 6, 2018,, accessed August 23, 2019.

26 Federal Register, Volume 85, Number 14, January 22, 2020, page 3,741,