Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Farmers cheer opening with Cuba

Washington—U.S. farmers and ranchers heartily welcome President Obama’s move toward normalized relations with Cuba, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. Farm Bureau has long called for a removal of trade restrictions with Cuba, and the organization is optimistic that expanded trade with the U.S. will serve as a cornerstone for additional reforms.

“The president’s opening to Cuba promises to improve trade conditions by making it easier for Cuba to buy U.S. agricultural and food products. This is welcome news for our nation’s farmers and ranchers,” Stallman said in a statement.

Currently, U.S. farmers can export to Cuba, but third-party banking requirements and limited credit financing make it harder to compete in the market than it should be, explained Stallman. “We look forward to a prompt lifting of those restrictions.”

“Improving trade relations between the U.S. and Cuba will expand access to a market of 11 million consumers for U.S. agriculture,” he continued. “That’s good for Cuba and good for America, too. We look forward to working closely with the administration on this issue.”

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