Establishing relationships with trade partners essential for economic growth

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Governor Pete Ricketts and his team are now adjusting back to central time after a week-long trade mission in Japan.

Trent Loos, a 6th generation rancher, represented Nebraska's pork producers while in japan.

Loos says one of the main accomplishments in this trip was building relationships with the Japanese.

"Doing business in Japan is about relationships and when people get to know you, they want to do business with you," Loos said.

Japan is a key driver to Nebraska's economic growth.

Japanese businesses employ more than four thousand people in Nebraska and Nebraska exports more than $1 billion in products annually to Japan.

"In 2017, we've been so successful in marketing frozen beef to Japan. In the first quarter we've increased our importation to Japan by 17%," said Loos.

There was also a 46% increase in pork exports in 2016.

But now more Nebraska pork is heading overseas.

An expansion agreement was made with Sagami and Smithfield foods.

The large chain restaurant will now use pork products from our state.

"The owner and the individuals made in this restaurant had been to Nebraska. They've been here and they've saw how producers take care of the land, how they take care of livestock, how we are dedicated and family businesses and that's what really made a difference to them," said Loos.

He said the restaurant chain showed their appreciation to Nebraskans by sporting their Nebraska Husker gear.

"They we were wearing 'Go Big Red ball caps.' They were celebrating everything Cornhusker. It was almost as if we were at a tailgate party waiting for the next football game,” said Loos.

The welcoming smiles and handshakes... all laying the foundation between the two countries.

Loos says it’s important for our partners to know we care. He says this trip also allows the Japanese to see the faces behind Nebraska products.