Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Commissioner returns from exploratory mission to Cuba

Commissioner returns from exploratory mission to Cuba

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave
Frederickson led an exploratory delegation to Cuba last week to discover
potential trade relations with Cuba if embargoes are eased in the
future. Over the past several months, the U.S. and Cuba have taken
several small steps toward normalizing trade.

"Several signs point to Cuba as a great potential export market for
Minnesota farmers," said Commissioner Frederickson. "However, trade is a
two-way street and we explored some of the future ways we can work
together to create the biggest benefit to both of our agricultural

It's up to federal lawmakers to remove the current trade limitations,
and U.S. agriculture is positioned to become a major trading partner
with Cuba. Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced the Freedom to Export to
Cuba Act earlier this year as an effort to lift the current trade
embargo. Also this year, Representative Tom Emmer co-introduced the Cuba
Trade Act of 2015 in the U.S. House of Representatives; a similar
proposal to normalize trade with Cuba.

Potential exports from the U.S. include potatoes, poultry products,
soybean products, corn, animal feed, and processed foods. Although Cuban
imports are smaller than most other global trade partners, the country
can offer trade value. According to the U.S. International Trade
Commission, agricultural exports for American farmers would increase for
most major commodity groups.

The commissioner's delegation toured farms and markets in Cuba to gauge
the processes of their food production. The delegation also met with
Cuban government officials and agricultural research leaders. Groups
joining the commissioner included members of the following commodity
promotion councils: soybean, poultry, wheat, dairy, corn, grain and
feed, barley, and processed foods. Delegates are now briefing their
respective associations about potential trade in the Cuban market.

Source: Commissioner returns from exploratory mission to Cuba -

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