Alabama Port Authority announces deal with Cuban counterpart
By Lawrence Specker | email@example.com
updated February 03, 2017 at 10:38 AM
The Alabama State Port Authority has announced a new memorandum of
understanding with the National Port Administration of Cuba, potentially
laying the groundwork for future trade deals.
Alabama's Port Authority announced that state and Cuban officials met
Thursday in Tampa, where they signed a Memorandum of Understanding
described as the first Cuban ports agreement signed on U.S. soil since
1959. The five-year cooperative agreement is based on "a mutual interest
in facilitating trade growth," according to the ASPA. The two agencies
agreed to collaborate on "port and cargo marketing studies and
strategies, engaging in promotion and exhibition activities, and sharing
data to the mutual benefit of their respective seaports."
"We are seeing increasing demand for normalized trade between the United
States and Cuba," said Jimmy Lyons, CEO of the Alabama port authority,
"and it is our goal to foster relationships between the ports and their
maritime communities to further changes in U.S. Cuban trade policy and
facilitate improved ocean carriage services to the benefit of our shippers."
The possibility that trade relations between the United States and Cuba
has been of keen interest in Alabama, which has historic shipping ties
to the island nation. State and local authorities gathered in June for
the launch of the Alabama State Council of the Engage Cuba Coalition.
Speaking at that occasion, Johnny Adams, executive director of the
Alabama Poultry Association, who said Alabama already ships 10,000 tons
of poultry per month to Cuba. That figure could rise dramatically, he
said, if the current "cumbersome" limitations on the exchange were lifted.
"This is one of these issues that defies gravity, common sense, logic,
emotion," said Williams. "We've been having a policy for 55 years that
on all objective merits has failed to meet any of its intentions."
James Williams, the president of Engage Cuba said at the time that
Alabama "is a state that probably has more to gain, more quickly, than
any other place in the country" if longstanding trade barriers with Cuba
Source: Alabama Port Authority announces deal with Cuban counterpart |