Table of Contents

When asked how Nebraska’s middle class is affected by foreign policy, those interviewed put the impact of trade policy on the state’s agricultural sector at the top of the list. Interviewees noting such concerns included people working in healthcare and social assistance, educational services, and federal, state, and local government, which collectively account for almost one-third of the state’s workforce.

The reason for that is simple. While Nebraska has a diversified economy and workforce, with the majority in nontradable or domestically focused sectors, approximately one in four jobs in the state directly or indirectly depends on the globally connected agricultural production complex.1 Even if they do not hold one of those ag-related jobs, most Nebraskans likely benefit in some way from the revenues the sector generates. That may explain why so many of those interviewed, whether directly involved with agriculture or not, said they supported any trade policies that worked best for farmers, ranchers, and others associated with the agricultural production complex. It is from this business, rather than consumer, perspective that participants uniformly spoke about trade (see Appendix C for details on the breakdown of Nebraska’s economy and workforce).

The message on trade conveyed by those throughout Nebraska’s agricultural production complex was remarkably consistent: the more international trade the better.

The message on trade conveyed by those throughout Nebraska’s agricultural production complex was remarkably consistent: the more international trade the better. From ranchers and farmers in the Nebraska Panhandle and fertilizer distributors in Columbus to agricultural real estate brokers in North Platte and manufacturers of agricultural machinery in Kearney, the general sense all these individuals conveyed was that Nebraskans’ interests on trade were largely aligned. This perception stood in stark contrast to the views heard on trade in Ohio, where past trade policies and globalization had produced winners and losers within the state, particularly for the large manufacturing workforce.2

The only place where one might have discerned some nuanced differences on trade among those interviewed pertained to the Trump administration’s tactics for dealing with real and perceived unfair practices by trading partners. While they expressed strong support for the administration’s decision to play hardball with China, and even a willingness to incur some near-term pain to that end, their views diverged on how much pain they could absorb and whether it would be worth it.

Nebraska’s Agricultural Production Complex

Nebraska is a leading agricultural state in the United States. It is second only to South Dakota in terms of agriculture’s share of GDP—4.8 percent in Nebraska compared to 0.8 percent nationally.3 It is also a leading producer of livestock and field crops. Nebraska ranks in the top five in more than twenty agricultural industries (see Table 2 for a selection).

Nebraska has leveraged its leadership position in crop and livestock production to develop, attract, and retain food processing companies, such as Tyson Fresh Meats and JBS, and manufacturers of agricultural machinery and equipment, such as Valmont Industries. Of Nebraska’s 99,000 manufacturing jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 37,000 are in food manufacturing alone.4

The demand for hauling crops and livestock and Nebraska’s position along Interstate 80, a key east-west interstate highway, contributed to the growth of two of the nation’s leading trucking companies, Werner Enterprises and Crete Carrier. Both were established, and are still headquartered, in Nebraska. Likewise, many crops and corn-derived ethanol are transported by rail, which is significant for Union Pacific Railroad, headquartered in Omaha. Both Union Pacific and BNSF Railway maintain large train-switching and repair stations across the state.

These various components—crop and livestock production, ag-related manufacturing, and transportation and wholesaling—operate together as an interwoven economic system. Figure 2 exemplifies the agricultural production complex as it relates to three products in Nebraska: corn, cattle, and ethanol.

This complex is supported by ag-related research and training at Nebraska’s universities and community colleges. It is further supplemented by agritourism (for example, the leasing of farmland for hunting, birding, and other recreational activities). The complex also connects the state’s different geographic regions. Nebraska’s agricultural producers in more rural counties, especially in the northeast and the Nebraska Panhandle, rely on equipment manufactured in the tri-cities area of central Nebraska (Grand Island, Hastings, and Kearney) and on legal and financial services largely based in Omaha, including insurance—a leading industry in the state.5

The agricultural production complex reaches all parts of Nebraska. Focus group participants and interviewees in urban Lincoln and rural North Platte agreed that what impacts the agricultural production complex impacts all Nebraskans. The majority of rural counties are particularly dependent on agriculture as the economic drivers for other businesses like grocery stores, car dealerships, and equipment repair shops, as well as tax revenue for local services.6 Or, as it was put in North Platte, “Our number one focus in this part of the world is agriculture, even main street businesses live and die by agriculture out here.”7

“Our number one focus in this part of the world is agriculture, even main street businesses live and die by agriculture out here.”

The existence of such a dominant agricultural production complex, as distinct from simply having productive farms and ranches, is what makes U.S. states like Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota ag states. Researchers at UNL estimate that the agricultural production complex accounts for approximately one-quarter of Nebraska’s GDP and workforce.8 By these measures, it plays a greater role in Nebraska’s economy than it does in the economy of any other U.S. state, with the possible exception of South Dakota. Further, interviewees for this study expect the economic impact of the agricultural production complex to remain strong, as it develops value-added production, such as biofuels, distillers grains for livestock feed, and the conversion of methane waste into energy.9

Wages in the Agricultural Production Complex

Those in the foreign policy community unfamiliar with agriculture might assume that the sector is starkly divided between wealthy corporate farm owners and low-income farm labor. In reality, most farms in Nebraska are family-run. According to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, in 2017, 38,200 farms were organized for tax purposes as family-held farms. Only 4,268 were organized as corporate farms, and over 4,000 of those were family-held corporations.10 In 2017, only 18 percent of farms had sales over $1 million and just under 1 percent had sales greater than $5 million.11 As shown in Table 3, the majority of jobs in industries associated with the wider agricultural production complex fall within the middle-income range (albeit on the lower end of that range in many instances).

This is all to say that the impact of any domestic or international policies on agriculture is decidedly relevant to middle-class workers in Nebraska—from the meat cutters and trimmers earning $33,000 per year and welders making just over $40,000 per year to the animal scientists and industrial production managers taking in around $100,000 per year.

Positive Attitudes Toward Trade Agreements

Nebraska’s agricultural production complex produces more feed grains, livestock, and manufacturing equipment than Americans can consume, thereby making exports essential to sustaining jobs. Approximately 21,000 ag-related jobs were directly dependent on exports in 2017, but a far greater number remain indirectly affected, given knock-on effects across the entire agricultural production complex.12 The trade policies that most affect these jobs pertain to trade with Canada, Japan, and Mexico, which account for more than 40 percent of the state’s total exports. Trading arrangements with South Korea and China, rising destinations for Nebraska’s livestock and feed grains (soybeans), have also become increasingly important.13 Other countries in Southeast Asia, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, are viewed as prime areas for future export growth (see Appendix D for more information on Nebraska’s trade trends).14

A business owner in Scottsbluff/Gering captured well a prevailing sentiment across the state when it comes to trade agreements: “We’ve got to get the USMCA [U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement] resolved.” He explained that the “real players” for U.S. agricultural exports are North America and Asia. Therefore, it was also “unfortunate” that the Trump administration withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the twelve-nation agreement, because “there’s a lot of mouths to feed along the Pacific Rim, so any kind of trade agreement . . . with Pacific Rim countries is extremely important to agriculture.”15

Focus group participants zeroed in on Asia, in particular, viewing it as the most obvious destination for offsetting stagnating domestic demand for beef and pork. Some worried that other nations that stayed in the TPP—now renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)—would profit from the United States’ withdrawal. For example, they were concerned that Nebraska’s ranchers would ultimately lose market share to Australia, the United States’ biggest competitor for exporting beef to Japan.16

Those concerns would have been partially allayed, therefore, by the limited trade deal that the United States and Japan concluded at the end of September 2019, reducing and eliminating tariffs and expanding market access on farm, industrial, and digital products (excluding automobiles).17 Japan is Nebraska’s top market for agricultural exports and number two export market overall. In 2018, Nebraska sent more than $1.1 billion worth of agricultural goods to Japan, and that same year, the country was the top buyer of Nebraska’s beef, pork, wheat, and eggs; this illustrates why a U.S.-Japan trade deal was a point of emphasis for Governor Ricketts and others interviewed.18

The top concern was to preserve access to Canada’s and Mexico’s markets that had been secured in NAFTA and bring certainty back to the trading relationships.

The majority of those interviewed appeared favorably disposed toward U.S. involvement in multilateral and bilateral trade agreements. Those familiar with the TPP seemed to agree that it would have been good for Nebraska’s agricultural production complex.19 They now saw passage of the USMCA as critical—an agreement that has since been ratified by the United States, Mexico, and Canada, as of the writing of this report.20 (Note: the majority of the provisions in the USMCA are similar to those already negotiated with Mexico and Canada through the TPP, albeit with some important differences, such as on certain labor standards and more restrictive rules affecting the auto industry.) Under the USMCA, all agricultural and food products that had zero tariffs under the agreement’s precursor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), will remain duty-free, including Nebraska’s prominent exports of dry edible beans, corn, and beef, among others.21

No one appeared to dispute the need to modernize and update NAFTA, whether through the TPP or the USMCA. But the top concern was to preserve access to Canada’s and Mexico’s markets that had been secured in NAFTA and bring certainty back to the trading relationships. That concern is important context for actions taken on October 26, 2019, when Nebraska’s elected officials and agricultural leaders, including the Nebraska Farm Bureau and over 3,000 signatories from across the state, called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to help secure passage of the USMCA in the House of Representatives.22 Since then, Pelosi and the Trump administration did reach a deal, and, as noted earlier, the U.S. Congress ratified the agreement.

Conflicted Views on Tariffs and the So-Called Trade War With China

Not surprisingly, while those interviewed generally expressed clear support for concluding more free trade agreements that enhanced market access for Nebraska’s products, they voiced deep concern about the imposition of tariffs. A Columbus resident captured the essence of a commonly expressed view across the state: “Well, I mean, I’m a free market kind of guy . . . I don’t think tariffs are good for us from a long-term perspective.”23

Those in the manufacturing industry interviewed for this study voiced strong support for the U.S. steel industry and steel workers. They were prepared to absorb some pain to support them. That said, they cautioned that there also had to be limits. The state has approximately 440 steel- and aluminum-producing jobs, but over 27,000 steel- and aluminum-using jobs.24 Many of Nebraska’s top manufacturers of ag-related machinery and equipment depend on imported steel and aluminum. The tariffs were therefore cutting into their margins.

For example, a manager of a manufacturer of agricultural equipment in Lexington estimated that, as a result of the steel tariffs, his company had seen “a 50 percent increase in [the cost of] our raw materials from basically the 1st of January of 2018 through the end of June of 2018.” He predicted that the firm would incur half a million dollars in increased costs for fiscal year 2019 based on Chinese parts and components.25 He added that “we don’t have the ability to pass this [these costs] on” because the company’s customers, the farmers, cannot afford higher prices as they face their own low margins on corn. Thus, while he sympathized with the need for a healthy steel industry, there were limits to how much his company could sacrifice for what he said seemed to be a more “self-inflicted” input issue. Other manufacturers, like Aulick Industries in Scottsbluff, a manufacturer of transport trailers for the agricultural industry, have been able to weather the recent price increases to their supplies so far by buying early.26

While Nebraska’s farmers would certainly prefer a resolution to U.S.-China trade tensions resulting in an end to retaliatory tariffs on agriculture, they also supported Trump’s efforts to push back on unfair Chinese trading practices.

Turning from the steel tariffs to the larger trade battle, another resident of Scottsbluff/Gering captured a prevailing sentiment when he insisted that, over the long term, the United States needed to “focus [more] on developing markets” and “less . . . on picking a fight with China.”27

When interviewed for this report, Governor Ricketts assessed that Nebraskans were strongly in favor of open markets and increased international trade, including with China, and that they opposed tariffs. He stated his belief that, while Nebraska’s farmers would certainly prefer a resolution to U.S.-China trade tensions resulting in an end to retaliatory tariffs on agriculture, they also supported Trump’s efforts to push back on unfair Chinese trading practices that had gone unanswered for too long. He spoke further about the need to diversify export markets for Nebraska and pursue trade opportunities around the world, emphasizing, for example, the U.S.-Japan agriculture-focused trade deal that has since been concluded.28

The interviews largely bore out the governor’s assessment about Nebraskans’ views on the trade war with China. In Columbus, one participant, like many others, strenuously defended the Trump administration, remarking that “the patent infringement, stealing our technology, all of that stuff, there should be consequences for that, and they’ve been doing it for so long that they didn’t believe there were any consequences and, now all of a sudden, there are starting to be consequences.”29 An interviewee in Scottsbluff/Gering echoed the feeling, noting that “I think you do need to defend yourselves or take a stand, you can’t let them [China] run over you. . . . So if it benefits long term, we’ll suffer through the short term . . . I don’t know if ‘suffer’ is the word but deal with it in the short term.”30 A North Platte resident drove home a similar point: “So I think if you look at the public policy of tariffs, probably long overdue. We have allowed China to run over us for years and years, and prior to the election, Democrats and Republicans alike were complaining about China and the grip they had on us. Amazingly, after the election was over, now all of a sudden the president takes steps to do something and suddenly it’s wrong. Just like everything else he does is all wrong.”31

The strong defense mounted by those interviewed regarding the Trump administration’s tough stance on China was unmistakable. The support for a strong response to China stands in contrast to some areas of Ohio, where China was seen as a necessary source of foreign direct investment (FDI). Nebraska has experienced negligible Chinese investment—less than $50 million over the last three decades, compared with $1.25 billion in Ohio.32

Generally speaking, participants view the U.S.-China economic relationship from the perspective of exporting products to China rather than receiving investment from it. Nebraska has invested six times more in China than China has invested in Nebraska.33 As mentioned, the agricultural industry sells heavily to the Chinese market. As such, Nebraskans have growing economic concerns regarding the ongoing trade disputes with China. As one of the representatives of the Nebraska Cattlemen Association put it, “There are folks [who] say, ‘we can wait this out’ but . . . they’re getting nervous.”34 Most of those interviewed were hoping that the trade tensions with China would be resolved very soon because the costs were mounting. (Interviews were conducted before the conclusion of the phase one trade deal that the United States and China reached in January 2020, which came into effect on February 14, 2020. This deal includes a Chinese commitment to significantly increase purchases of U.S. agricultural exports and redress long-standing nontariff barriers in the agricultural sector.)

In research prepared for the Yeutter Institute, an Iowa State professor and former analyst for the International Trade Commission estimated that the trade war with China—notably Beijing’s retaliation for tariffs imposed by the United States on its goods—could have resulted in losses of over $800 million to Nebraska’s GDP through September 2019. At that time, he estimated it could cost Nebraska’s households approximately $600 per year. These losses occurred due to lost exporting opportunities, increased production costs for companies using imported inputs, and increased costs to final consumers. He assessed that this figure could have climbed to $940 per household had the additionally threatened tariffs gone into effect.35 (See Appendix E for an alternative accounting of the implications of tariffs on increased costs of final goods and services for middle-income households in Nebraska.)

As the costs mounted in 2019, some signs of anxiety and frustration began to emerge publicly. In a rare move, the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association issued a joint statement on August 29, 2019, expressing “outrage” at the administration’s lack of support for farmers, citing oil refinery waivers that dampen demand for corn ethanol production and frustration with trade policy.36

Meanwhile, those interviewed expressed skepticism that the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) the Trump administration established in May 2019 to compensate farmers and ranchers for their losses could fully offset the true costs incurred. The Lincoln Journal Star reported that the MFP made 78,621 payments to nearly 40,000 farmers and businesses in Nebraska, in the amount of $694 million, during its first year of operations from September 2018 to August 2019.37 Taking these MFP payments into account, research published by Iowa State University and University of Nebraska economists in early 2020 showed that MFP payments totally offset the incidence of tariff retaliation on the economies of several Midwestern states, resulting in a $523 million net gain for Nebraska alone.38

The MFP was “not worth a hill of beans” because it compensated farmers for some lost revenue, but it did not account for their lost market share down the road.

However, this finding is an aggregate gain and does not reflect disparate impacts on individual producers in agriculture or in other sectors of the economy. Nor does it account for uneven distributional effects on consumers because everyone bears higher prices but compensatory payments were aimed at agricultural producers only. It also does not account for potential lost future market share as a result of shifting supply chains. This finding is consistent with what the research team heard from interviewees in receipt of MFP payments: while they would rather receive such payments than nothing at all, they also contested that these payments made up for their losses. As one great northern bean farmer in the Scottsbluff/Gering area put it, the MFP was “not worth a hill of beans” because it compensated farmers for some lost revenue, but it did not account for their lost market share down the road.39 This fear of lost market share—to countries like Brazil and Argentina in the soybean market, for example—loomed large for those interviewed.

The Importance of Farm Subsidies to Global Trade

Unlike in the case of the MFP, which they would prefer not to have to take, the farmers interviewed clearly said that producers of particular products, such as sugar, could not compete on the world stage absent the $687 million per year statewide that they received in farm subsidies in 2018. These subsidies constitute about 20 percent of net cash incomes.40 At the same time, farmers interviewed expressed a desire to let the market work out fair pricing in a free trade environment with increased exports. While such subsidies may seem inconsistent with the free market principles they espouse, some in the agricultural industry stress that they are a necessary part of the equation for U.S. farmers, given the extent to which all other nations heavily subsidize their agricultural sectors. For example, one interviewee stated, “I’m a big believer in free trade up to a point, but I also feel that you have to level that playing field.” He therefore understood the need for subsidies in various instances. “So, free trade? Yes, but with a limit, [I’m] not just a blanket free trade guy.”41

Others expressed similar views, though some did so with reservations. For example, a focus group participant in Omaha worried about the overreliance on subsidies in certain sectors, which could put the situation “so far out of whack . . . that . . . we no longer create a product that’s competitive on the global market.”42 An interviewee in Lincoln recounted that her father was a farmer who often said, “I think that all subsidies need to go away, but I will be the first in line to get mine because they’re there.”43 According to USDA data, in 2010, farmers in Nebraska received just over $509 million in direct government payments and earned a net cash income of $4.5 billion. In 2010, government payments were 11 percent of net cash income. By 2018, direct government payments rose to $687 million, or 20 percent of net cash income.44

Interests of Agricultural- and Nonagricultural-Related Sectors Aligned on Trade Policy

The main reason most of those interviewed stressed that they supported any trade policy that works for the agricultural production complex is because it accounts for so much of the state’s trading activity overall. According to official statistics, manufacturing accounts for a significant portion of Nebraska’s trade. Manufacturing may therefore appear to be distinct from agriculture, but food and kindred products are the top manufacturing exports. Chemicals that are exported are often agricultural chemicals, and machinery that is exported includes agricultural machinery.45

That said, Nebraska also undertakes important nonagricultural-related trading activity. For example, among Nebraska’s top ten exported goods are mineral fuels/oils (such as natural gas) and pharmaceutical products (such as syringes). That said, 60 percent of the state’s exports are agricultural products and even more are ag-related.46 Services exports, such as equipment installation and industrial engineering services, are a strong growth area for Nebraska; such exports from the state doubled between 2006 and 2016 from $1.1 billion to $2.2 billion, according to the Coalition of Services Industries.47 Service exports account for 3.4 percent of the state’s GDP as of 2017, according to recent calculations by scholars at the Brookings Institution.48 That growth puts Nebraska ahead of most U.S. states and only narrowly trailing Colorado (see Figure 3).

As in the case of agricultural producers, U.S. service exporters likewise enjoy a competitive advantage in global trade. As such, there is considerable alignment of interests across the range of agricultural- and nonagricultural-related sectors when it comes to trade policy.

Trade-Related Job Losses

Nebraska’s workers have, however, sometimes found themselves on the losing end of trade. Over 10,000 Nebraskans have been awarded trade adjustment assistance (TAA) in the past two decades as compensation for trade-related job losses.49 More recently, trade-related job losses have hit production facilities in auto parts, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, and textiles, in both rural and urban counties.

That said, the percentage of Nebraska’s population that has experienced trade-related job losses has been considerably lower than in Ohio and other industrial Midwestern states, as depicted in Figure 4. An interviewee in Kearney, for example, expressed surprise when hearing that someone at a local plant was worrying about jobs going to Mexico because “it doesn’t seem like you hear that very often.”50

A Desire for Evolutionary Not Revolutionary Changes in Trade Policy

The bottom line is that the Nebraskans interviewed are largely united in their views when it comes to trade policies. They evaluate trade policies, first and foremost, from the perspective of their impact on the agricultural production complex, which accounts for tens of thousands of middle-income jobs. U.S. trade policies have indeed been good for the state’s agricultural production complex, creating and sustaining far more jobs than they have eliminated. And even where there have been trade-related job losses, the state’s low rates of unemployment and high labor force participation rates, as discussed in the next chapter, mean that Nebraskans are better prepared to absorb the blow in comparison to Ohioans in manufacturing towns.

Those interviewed across Nebraska saw the need for U.S. trade policies to evolve with the times and in light of lessons learned. They supported updating NAFTA. They welcomed a tougher negotiating stance with China. They looked forward to the United States forging new trade agreements with other nations across Asia.

However, they remain deeply anxious about revolutionary changes that portend a fundamental shift in direction. The state’s agricultural production complex cannot afford for the United States to jeopardize trade relations with Canada and Mexico or to close off access to China’s markets for agricultural products. As such, the recent ratification of the USMCA (given risks that the Trump administration might have withdrawn from NAFTA if the USMCA were not approved) and the conclusion of the phase one trade deal with China have been met with considerable relief.

In general, this is what Carnegie’s task force members expected to hear. The surprise was the extent to which so many across the state felt the same way, even when they worked in nontradable sectors, such as healthcare as well as primary and secondary education. The similarity in views on trade is a testament to the importance that Nebraskans attach to the agricultural production complex. It came as an even greater surprise that those interviewed mentioned the importance of immigration almost as often as trade. The reasons for that are detailed in the next chapter.

Notes

1 E. Thompson, B. Johnson, and A. Giri, “The 2010 Economic Impact of the Nebraska Agricultural Production Complex,” UNL Department of Agricultural Economics Report no. 192, 2012, https://agecon.unl.edu/research/nebraska-ag-economic-impact.pdf.

2 Salman Ahmed, Karan Bhatia, Wendy Cutler, David Gordon, Jennifer Harris, Edward Hill, Douglas Lute, Daniel M. Price, William Shkurti, Christopher Smart, Fran Stewart, Jake Sullivan, Ashley J. Tellis, and Tom Wyler, “U.S. Foreign Policy for the Middle Class: Perspectives From Ohio,” December 10, 2018, https://carnegieendowment.org/2018/12/10/u.s.-foreign-policy-for-middle-class-perspectives-from-ohio-pub-77779.

3 Bureau of Economic Analysis, “GDP and Personal Income (Real GDP Chain Weighted),” Regional Data, 2018, https://www.bea.gov/data/gdp/gdp-state, accessed August 26, 2019.

4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment Statistics by State and Industry,” 2018, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_research_estimates.htm, accessed December 2019.

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

6 Focus group conducted by S. Ahmed, A. Gelman, J. O’Donnell, E. Thompson, and J. Walther, North Platte, July 24, 2019; focus group conducted by S. Ahmed, J. Walther, T. Abdel-Monem, J. O’Donnell, and D. Rosenbaum, Lincoln, July 9, 2019.

7 Focus group conducted by S. Ahmed, A. Gelman, J. O’Donnell, E. Thompson, and J. Walther, North Platte, July 24, 2019.

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

9 Governor Pete Ricketts, “Ricketts: Value-Added Ag Grows Rural Nebraska,” Midwest Messenger, October 23, 2019, https://www.agupdate.com/midwestmessenger/opinion/columnists/ricketts-value-added-ag-grows-rural-nebraska/article_a3124b02-f5a8-11e9-98a1-8bb4aa7693f1.html.

10 U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, “Summary by Legal Status for Tax Purposes,” 2017, https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/CDQT/chapter/1/table/74/state/NE, accessed January 2020.

11 U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, “Summary by Operating Arrangements: Nebraska,” 2017, https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/CDQT/chapter/1/table/77/state/NE, accessed January 2020.

12 Occupation Employment Statistics, 2017. Total is a summation of employment in occupations in agriculture and agricultural-related production.

13 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, https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/research/nebraska-exports/.

14 Nebraska Department of Economic Development, “Gov. Ricketts Announces International Trade Mission to Vietnam and Japan,” May 9, 2019, https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/gov-ricketts-announces-international-trade-mission-to-vietnam-and-japan/; Governor Pete Ricketts, “From the Governor: Growing Nebraska Around the World,” The Banner Press, December 10, 2019, https://columbustelegram.com/community/banner-press/opinion/growing-nebraska-around-the-world/article_549fed0b-e2bb-5250-9548-bbf64cfeaa55.html; and Olivia Coffey, “What Is the Potential to Increase Exports of Nebraska Beef to Indonesia,” Yeutter Institute, May 20, 2019, https://yeutter-institute.unl.edu/what-potential-increase-exports-nebraska-beef-indonesia.

15 S. Ahmed, A. Gelman, J. O’Donnell, E. Thompson, and J. Walther, interview with Owen Palm, 21st Century Equipment, Scottsbluff, July 23, 2019.

16 Focus group conducted by S. Ahmed, J. O’Donnell, D. Rosenbaum, and J. Walther, Kearney, July 16, 2019; J. O’Donnell and J.Walther, interview with Michael Salerno, vice president of Global Banking at First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha, August 9, 2019.

17 Office of the United States Trade Representative, “Fact Sheet on U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement,” September 2019, https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/fact-sheets/2019/september/fact-sheet-us-japan-trade-agreement.

18 Nebraska Department of Agriculture, “Trade Profile: Nebraska Ag Trade With Japan,” updated February 2020, https://nda.nebraska.gov/promotion/profiles/Japan.pdf; 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, https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/research/nebraska-exports/; and S. Ahmed, J. O’Donnell, J. Walther, and D. Rosenbaum, interview with Governor Pete Ricketts, Lincoln, July 8, 2019.

19 S. Ahmed and J. Walther, interview with Chris Rodgers, chairman of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Omaha, July 10, 2019; S. Ahmed and J. Walther, interview with a resident, Columbus, July 15, 2019; and J. O’Donnell and J. Walther, interview with Jessie Herrmann, vice president of Legal and Government Affairs, Nebraska Cattlemen Association, July 25, 2019.

20 T. Abdel-Monem, S. Ahmed, and J. O’Donnell, interview with Cobus Block, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, July 31, 2019; S. Ahmed and J. Walther, interview with a resident, Columbus, July 15, 2019; and David Ljunggren, “Canadian Parliament Rushes Through Ratification of USMCA Trade Pact,” Reuters, March 13, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-usmca-canada/canadian-parliament-rushes-through-ratification-of-usmca-trade-pact-idUSKBN2102I5.

21 Congressional Research Service, “Agricultural Provisions of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” April 8, 2019, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R45661.pdf; North American Meat Institute, “NAFTA’s Positive Impact on U.S. Meat Trade,” April 2019 Update, https://www.meatinstitute.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/140210; and Office of the United States Trade Representative, “United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Fact Sheet Agriculture: Market Access and Dairy Outcomes of the USMC Agreement,” https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/united-states-mexico-canada-agreement/fact-sheets/market-access-and-dairy-outcomes, accessed December 2019.

22 Nebraska Farm Bureau, “Farm Bureau Calls on Speaker Pelosi to Advance USMCA,” November 1, 2019, https://www.nefb.org/newsroom/newswire/2085-farm-bureau-calls-on-speaker-pelosi-to-advance-usmca.

23 S. Ahmed, J. O’Donnell, J. Walther, and D. Rosenbaum, interview with a resident, Columbus, July 15, 2019.

24 Steve Jordon, “Jobs of Thousands of Nebraskans Could Be Threatened by Tariffs, Executive Says,” Omaha World Herald, June 1, 2018, https://www.omaha.com/money/jobs-of-thousands-of-nebraskans-could-be-threatened-by-tariffs/article_2ae8676e-2635-5881-953a-d7c2d1ae1f72.html.

25 T. Abdel-Monem, S. Ahmed, and J. O’Donnell, interview with John McCoy, Orthman Manufacturing Lexington, July 31, 2019.

26 S. Ahmed, A. Gelman, J. O’Donnell, E. Thompson, and J. Walther, interview with Charlie Knapper and Jacob Aulick of Aulick Industries, Scottsbluff, July 23, 2019.

27 Focus group conducted by S. Ahmed, A. Gelman, J. O’Donnell, E. Thompson, and J. Walther, Scottsbluff, July 23, 2019.

28 S. Ahmed, J. O’Donnell, J. Walther, and D. Rosenbaum, interview with Governor Pete Ricketts, Lincoln, July 8, 2019.

29 S. Ahmed and J. Walther, interview with a resident, Columbus, July 15, 2019.

30 S. Ahmed, A. Gelman, J. O’Donnell, E. Thompson, and J. Walther, interview with residents, Scottsbluff, July 23, 2019.

31 Focus group conducted by S. Ahmed, A. Gelman, J. O’Donnell, E. Thompson, and J. Walther, North Platte, July 24, 2019.

32 Rhodium Group, “The U.S.-China Investment Hub,” https://rhodiumgroup.gistapp.com/us-china-foreign-direct-investments/data, accessed November 2019.

33 Rhodium Group, “The U.S.-China Investment Hub.”

34 J. O’Donnell and J. Walther, interview with Jessie Herrmann, vice president of Legal and Government Affairs, Nebraska Cattlemen Association, Lincoln, July 25, 2019.

35 Edward J. Balistreri, “Trade-War Impacts on Nebraska: A General-Equilibrium Analysis,” presented at the Conference of the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 10, 2019; and Chris Dunker, “Economist: Trade War Will Cost Average Nebraska Family $600 Per Year,” Lincoln Journal Star, October 10, 2019, https://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/federal-politics/economist-trade-war-will-cost-average-nebraska-family-per-year/article_3ea11882-678a-58be-acbd-4aafee427987.html.

36 Nebraska Corn Board, “Nebraska Farmers Outraged by Trump’s Broken Promises,” August 28, 2019, https://nebraskacorn.gov/news-releases/waivercalltoaction/.

37 Matt Olberding, “Report: Nebraska Farmers Could Lose Close to $1B This Year From Tariffs,” Lincoln Journal Star, September 3, 2019, https://journalstar.com/business/agriculture/report-nebraska-farmers-could-lose-close-to-b-this-year/article_347a8bbb-d70d-5158-84a1-175180342fde.html.

38 Edward J. Balistreri, Wendong Zhang, and John Beghin, “The State-level Burden of the Trade War: Interactions Between the Market Facilitation Program and Tariffs,” Agricultural Policy Review, Iowa State University, Winter 2020. The compensatory payments did not reverse the losses in Ohio and Colorado.

39 S. Ahmed, A. Gelman, J. O’Donnell, E. Thompson, and J. Walther, interview with residents, Scottsbluff, July 23, 2019.

40 Walton, “Nebraska Corn Growers Issue Rare Rebuke of Trump.”

41 S. Ahmed, A. Gelman, J. O’Donnell, E. Thompson, and J. Walther, interview with county government representative, Joseph R. Hewgley, North Platte, July 24, 2019.

42 Focus group conducted by T. Abdel-Monem, S. Ahmed, J. O’Donnell, D. Rosenbaum, and J. Walther, Omaha, July 10, 2019.

43 J. O’Donnell and J. Walther, interview with Kari L. Schmitz of Hudl, Lincoln, July 9, 2019.

44 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, “Nominal Cash Income Statement,” updated November 27, 2019, https://data.ers.usda.gov/reports.aspx?ID=17831#P65faf6a4c13e4ea39c7f67a5ac18bda6_2_105iT0R0x2.

45 U.S. Census Bureau, USA Trade Online, “State Exports by NAICS Commodities,” 2019 through November, http://usatrade.census.gov.

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

47 Coalition of Services Industries, “U.S. Services Exports,” Fact Sheet on Nebraska, 2018.

48 Nick Marchio and Joseph Parilla, “Export Monitor 2018,” Brookings Institution, April 30, 2018, https://www.brookings.edu/research/export-monitor-2018/.

49 U.S. Department of Labor, “Data on TAA Petitions and Determinations,” April 30, 2019, https://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/taa-data/petitions-determinations-data/, data extracted May 30, 2019.

50 S. Ahmed, J. O’Donnell, J. Walther, and D. Rosenbaum, interview with Elizabeth Roetman, employment agency, Kearney, July 16, 2019.