Ibach: Pres. Trump wants better trade deals

Nebraska farmer Greg Ibach serves as Under Secretary of the USDA (NTV News)

Farmers brace for a backlash, as President Trump approves tariffs on foreign steel. Now a local farmer turned Trump administration leader says it's all part of the strategy to get a better deal.

“The end game is clear. We want better trade deals,” said Greg Ibach, Under Secretary at the USDA.

Ibach, a central Nebraska farmer and rancher, is currently serving in Washington. He says there’s a bigger picture.

And said there’s “virtually no tariff” on products that come into the country, but American products face a different fate.

He said, “Everything that goes out of the United states, even our ag products face 10, 20, 38 percent.”

Governor Pete Ricketts says agriculture accounts for 20 percent of our state's economy, and just this week he told the vice president to remember that impact.

“Be mindful of that potential for retaliation against our ag products and how detrimental that would be to our state,” the governor said.

The Nebraska company that shipped the first beef to China last year says the president's strategy may pay off, by going big.

Jerry Wiggs of Greater Omaha Packing said, “President Trump does have an unorthodox way of doing things, but what we're seeing today is he's willing to push that envelope.”

And while many fear new tariffs could lead to retaliation against American farm products, the governor says Nebraska farmers are ranchers can be confident in one thing.

“This administration cares what we think in the states. We've got great accessibility to the secretaries to express our opinions and they are listening to us.”

Under Secretary Ibach says he’s adjusting to life in D.C. but says he’s still just a farmer and rancher from Sumner, Nebraska.

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