Thursday, January 21, 2016

Port Tampa Bay poised for more business with Cuba

Port Tampa Bay poised for more business with Cuba
By Jeff Patterson
Published: January 20, 2016, 7:04 pm Updated: January 20, 2016, 10:05 pm

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Port Tampa Bay President Paul Anderson proclaimed
the overall health of the port as good at the annual State of the Port
address. Still, Anderson says there is room for growth.

Bulk shipping at the port is up. But, cruise ship passengers are down
slightly, by about 2 percent since last year. "We have some of the most
available land to grow this port of any port in our nation," Anderson said.

Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor believes some of that growth
can come from expanded dealings with Cuba. She's sponsored a bill in
Congress to lift the trade embargo.

"Once that happens, I think that Port Tampa Bay and this community will
be able to supply telecommunications equipment, construction materials,
agricultural equipment, so it's important that they build the
relationships now so we are prepared for those jobs and that business,"
Castor said.

Anderson believes Port Tampa Bay is ready for expanded Cuba trade. "Port
Tampa Bay has great infrastructure. We are fully prepared to support our
customers who will be the ones doing business with Cuba," he said. "We
are prepared for Cuba. It's when Cuba decides to open up trade with US

Former Florida Governor Bob Martinez believes even if the embargo is
lifted, trade opportunities with Cuba will come slowly. "When it comes
to infrastructure, roads and water and sewer lines, that's going to take
government resources, which they don't have any money. Still, with that
said you can't just not do anything and be ready for the eventuality
that something will occur," Martinez said.

Source: Port Tampa Bay poised for more business with Cuba | -

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