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FACT SHEET: Unlocking Economic Opportunity for Nebraska: Made-in-America Exports

President Obama’s trade agenda will unlock opportunity for Nebraska workers, farmers and ranchers, and businesses – strengthening the American middle class

In 2014, Nebraska exported a record $7.9 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world – supporting an estimated tens of thousands of jobs. $6.5 billion of those exports were manufactured products.

Trade is a key driver of Nebraska’s economy, and President Obama’s two highest trade priorities, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), will give Nebraska and the United States enhanced access to Nebraska’s top three export markets – Canada, Mexico, and Japan.  What’s more, TPP and T-TIP will include Nebraska’s top 4 sources of foreign investment: Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, (as of 2012, the latest year available).

These agreements will also help American manufacturing by raising labor and environmental standards throughout the Asia-Pacific region, levelling the playing field for U.S. workers and businesses.

Exports Support Jobs in Nebraska and Across the United States

  • 62 thousand jobs were supported by Nebraska goods exports in 2013.
  • In 2014, Nebraska goods exports were $7.9 billion, an increase of 238%, or $5.5 billion, from its export level in 2004.
  • Total exports from Nebraska helped contribute to the record-setting value of U.S. goods and services exports in 2014, which were over $2.3 trillion.
  • Nationally, jobs supported by exports of goods and services reached 11.7 million in 2014, up 1.8 million since 2009.
  • Every billion dollars of U.S. exports of goods supported an estimated 5,200 jobs in 2014.
  • Jobs supported by goods exports pay up to an estimated 18% above the national average.

Nebraska’s Agricultural Exports

  • While, trade has been beneficial to the overall economy, it has been particularly beneficial to U.S. agriculture – especially Nebraska’s.
  • Nebraska’s exports help boost farm prices and income, while supporting jobs both on the farm and in related industries such as food processing, transportation, and manufacturing.
  • Nebraska ranks fifth among the 50 U.S. states in the value of its agricultural exports.  Nebraska’s exports reached an estimated value of $6.6 billion in 2013, up from $4.8 billion in 2009.
  • Nebraska’s top five agricultural exports in 2013 were soybeans, beef and veal, animal feed, corn and soybean meal.  With our trade agenda, we are looking to help Nebraska’s farmers export even more of these and other products.
  • Since 2009, U.S. agricultural exports have increased by roughly 53 percent, and in 2014, exports of U.S. food and agricultural products reached a record $155.1 billion – the culmination of the strongest five year period of agricultural exports in our nation’s history.

Exports Sustain Thousands of Nebraska Businesses

  • A total of 1,914 companies exported from Nebraska locations in 2013. Of those 1,565 (81.8 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  •  Small and medium-sized firms generated 25.5 percent of Nebraska's total exports of merchandise in 2013.

Nebraska Depends on World Markets

  • Nebraska’s export shipments of merchandise in 2014 totaled $7.9 billion.
  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Nebraska posted merchandise exports of $2.2 billion to Canada in 2014, representing 28 percent of the state’s total merchandise exports.
  • Canada was followed by Mexico ($1.3 billion), Japan ($735 million), China ($615 million), and South Korea ($358 million)
  • Nebraska’s state exports of goods to the 20 existing FTA countries totaled $4.3 billion in 2013, 55% of Nebraska’s total goods exports to the world. 
  • Nebraska shipped $6.6 billion in agricultural exports abroad in 2013 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture). Top export products were soybeans ($1.6 billion), beef and veal ($947 million), feeds and fodder ($817 million), corn ($766 million), and other plant products ($414 million).

Nebraska Will Benefit from President Obama’s Trade Agenda

  • President Obama’s top trade priorities are the negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership with the Asia-Pacific Region and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – two state-of-the-art agreements that will unlock opportunity in the United States by fostering economic growth, supporting jobs, and bolstering our competitiveness.
  • Nebraska’s top three export markets will be covered by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Canada, Mexico, and Japan), making it easier for Nebraska workers, farmers and ranchers, and businesses to sell more Made-in-America exports to Nebraska’s main customers.
  • 60% of Nebraska’s exports ($4.7 billion) already go to TPP countries. 
  • 11% of Nebraska’s exports ($893 million) already go to T-TIP countries.

Made-in-America Exports and Manufacturing Jobs in Nebraska

  • Nebraska exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 38 thousand jobs in 2013.
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is processed food, which accounted for $2.8 billion of Nebraska's total merchandise exports in 2014.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are machinery ($1.1 billion), chemicals ($697 million), transportation equipment ($396 million), and electrical equipment ($280 million).

International Investment Creates Jobs in Nebraska

  • In 2012 (latest year available), foreign-controlled companies employed 27,000 Nebraska workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Nebraska included Canada, France, United Kingdom, Japan.
  • Foreign investment in Nebraska was responsible for 3.4 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2012.

Nebraska’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

In 2013, the following metropolitan areas in Nebraska recorded goods exports:

  • Omaha-Council Bluffs ($4.3 billion, portions of this MSA are shared with one or more other states)
  • Grand Island ($1.1 billion)
  • Lincoln ($818 million)