Mon, 19 Jun 2017
US - American farmers are likely to soon have a new market for agricultural products, owing to the White House’s decision to begin normalising relationships with Cuba.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall has urged the administration to exercise caution in rolling out any new restrictions on doing business with Cuba, fearing that this might limit the US's agricultural export opportunities.
Mr Duvall said, "We should be doing more, not less, to encourage US agricultural exports to Cuba. Our farmers and ranchers and the Cuban people would benefit from increased sales of high-quality, American-grown food and feed. The American Farm Bureau will continue to work with the administration and Congress to maintain and improve the conditions for agricultural trade with Cuba."
According to the AFB President, Cuba is a $2 billion annual food-import market. "Currently, because of some remaining restrictions, the United States sells about $200 million in agricultural products to Cuba, but that nation represents the kind of growth opportunity America’s farmers and ranchers need during this challenging economic period," he said.
"Self-imposed trade restrictions have kept America’s farmers and ranchers from competing on a level playing field and have closed off one of our nearest ag export markets. Cuba has not purchased any rice or wheat from the US in many years, instead buying from other countries around the world. As we cope with the biggest drop in farm prices in decades, we need to be opening up markets for American farm goods, not sending signals that might lead to less access," Mr Duvall concluded.