Opening markets around the world is critical to Nebraska's continued economic development. Trade creates opportunity for Nebraska farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses to expand, generate jobs, invest in new technology, and continue growing our economy. For example, Nebraska exported more than $5.7 billion in merchandise to international markets in 2010, directly supported almost 20,000 jobs.
To ensure this trend continues, I will once again host a seminar for Nebraska's exporters as well as those who wish to learn about exporting. On Wednesday, June 29, I am sponsoring Export 2011, a free event to share information about the benefits of international trade for farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses. It will take place at the Heartland Event Center in Grand Island from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (C.D.T.). This event will provide critical details about how Nebraska's businesses, both large and small, can take advantage of the opportunities created by access to new and emerging international markets.
Export 2011 will host speakers from select federal agencies as well as successful exporters from the Third District. The seminar will feature breakout sessions highlighting a variety of topics to best address specific questions or needs, such as how to compete in the global marketplace, economic analysis of trade agreements, barriers to trade, or doing business in China. For additional information about Export 2011 or to R.S.V.P., please call my Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900 or email email@example.com.
As a member of the Committee on Ways and Means and its Subcommittee on Trade, we continue working toward passage of three long-delayed trade agreements -- Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. It appears approval of these agreements is within striking distance, but we must continue pressing forward.
The critical next step in the approval process of these agreements is an informal markup of the proposals which should be scheduled soon. A "non-markup," as it is called, is a legislative procedure which allows Ways and Means Committee members to consider a draft bill for the trade deals and vote on possible amendments. Hopefully, the Administration will send the agreements to Congress, where they enjoy bipartisan support, for final approval shortly after the "non-markup" is completed.
Each day we postpone enacting the pending trade agreements we delay the creation of at least 250,000 American jobs. Congress and the Administration should be taking all available steps during these tough economic times to increase exports and the jobs trade supports. While the national economic impact of these agreements is tremendously valuable, trade is distinctly important to Nebraska. The next decade offers great opportunity for the farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers in our state because expanding access to thriving international markets would produce a direct benefit. I invite you to be a part of that success and join me at Export 2011!
For more information about Export 2011, the latest developments from Congress, or to sign up for my e-mail newsletter, please visit my website at www.adriansmith.house.gov.