President Obama has directed the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security to take a series of steps to continue efforts to reach out to the Cuban people. The National Farmers Union is happy with the President’s directive. NFU President Roger Johnson says - NFU has long-supported completely opening trade with Cuba and removing the self-imposed embargo.
Just under 50 years ago 60 percent of Cuba’s food imports came from the United States. Due to continued arbitrary restrictions on U.S. agricultural sales driven by executive orders rather than acts of Congress, agricultural sales have steadily declined with a recent report by the International Trade Commission showing an estimated 290 million dollars in agricultural cash sales to Cuba. The ITC predicts lifting the ban on agricultural goods would increase U.S. exports to Cuba to between 924-million and 1.2-billion dollars.
Johnson says - it is a shame to neglect the opportunity to conduct business with our Cuban neighbors. NFU urges the 112th Congress to take up H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, that will provide market expansion for U.S. agricultural goods and the right of U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba.