Friday, December 26, 2014

Despite embargo, NC trades with Cuba

Despite embargo, NC trades with Cuba
By - Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Despite the ongoing trade embargo with Cuba, North
Carolina exports millions worth of agricultural products to the
Caribbean nation each year.

And that figure is expected to grow as the United States normalizes
diplomatic relations.

While President Obama last week announced the United States would
establish full diplomatic ties with Cuba, it is up to Congress whether
the trade embargo is lifted.

Peter Thornton, the associate director for international marketing for
the state Department of Agriculture, tells media outlets that North
Carolina has been exporting agricultural products to Cuba for years.

U.S. Census Bureau figures show that this year, through the end of
October, the state exported nearly $8.5 million in such products to
Cuba, which is the state's 29th-largest trading partner for agricultural

"In time, it is going to grow, and it is going to grow fast," Thornton
told The News and Observer. "But we're probably talking a few years
before we see dramatic increases."

One of the problems with exporting to Cuba has been financing, he said.

"One, the Cuban government doesn't have a whole lot of money. Two, you
can't provide financing to Cuba," he added, meaning companies in the
state can't offer credit for the purchase of agricultural products.

Thornton tells The Star-News of Wilmington that Cuba could potentially
become the larger Caribbean market for the state.

Most of the state's exports to Cuba are bulk commodities like soybeans,
soybean meal and corn, he said.

Currently, he said, the Port of Wilmington doesn't have direct shipping
service to Cuba or the Caribbean. He said shipping of bulk commodities
is out of Norfolk, Virginia, or Charleston, South Carolina.

Source: Despite embargo, NC trades with Cuba - Washington Times -

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