Big American agribusiness corporations and members of the US Congress formed a coalition to hasten the lifting of the ban on trade with Cuba, announced in a press conference the President of the American Agricultural Federation, Bob Stallman.
Stallman said they will demand to relax financial restrictions on trade with Cuba, making U.S.agriculture and livestock producers more competitive in the Cuban market.
It will take time for the U.S. Congress to come to terms with normal relations with Cuba, but we need to put an end to this embargo, assured Paul Johnson, president of Chicago Foods International Llc and Vice President of the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba (USACC).
In the presentation of the coalition, the Secretary of Atgriculture, Tom Vilsack, referred to the commercial opportunity a normalization of trade with Cuba would represent, a market only 140 kilometers away from our borders.
Vilsack stressed this trade is valued in 1.7 billion dollars for a market of 11 million consumers, presently restricted by bureaucratic obstacles that affect our exporters.
According to observers, the recent statement of U.S. President Barack Obama of advancing to a reestablishment of diplomatic links with the Caribbean island, incentivated the agribusiness sector to create the Coalition.
In the USACC's opinion, although United States agribusiness companies can export their products to Cuba, financial and commercial restrictions imposed by the U.S. limit the competitiveness of their products.
Among the members of the group there are big corporations of this sector like Cargill and Smithfield Foods, together with the main U.S. producers of rice, soy, corn, wheat and turkey.
The Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, representing the largest agricultural and livestock producers of this country, criticized the present complex bureaucratic process as a self-imposed obstacle.
He also referred to the potential of a greater opening of trade with Cuba and mentioned the case of Brazil, whose exports to the island have grown four times leaving our suppliers at a disadvantage. / Source: PL.