American Soybean Association KMAland.com(Washington)–The American Soybean Association (ASA) welcomed legislation introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and backed by a bipartisan group of senators including Sens. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that would end the United States’ trade embargo with Cuba. ASA President and Brownfield, Texas, farmer Wade Cowan issued the following statement:
“Soybean farmers are, perhaps more than our counterparts in any other commodity, acutely aware of the benefits of growing our international trade relationships. We are the nation’s leader in agricultural trade not because of one large relationship with a major purchaser, but because of our work in emerging economies like Cuba’s, which is why we’re so excited to support—as we long have—an end to the embargo. We applaud Sen. Klobuchar and all the bill’s co-sponsors for their bold approach in introducing this bill, and we fully encourage its passage.
“The Cuban marketplace is valuable for our farmers because of its increasing demand not only for soybeans and vegetable oil, but also for the livestock and meat products that make up the consumer of our soybean meal.
That said, we have been previously able to sell our products to Cuba, but only under restrictions, so likely the most significant part of the bill is that it allows U.S. farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses to have normal business and trade relationships with importers in Cuba, just like we do with almost every other nation, including normal banking, credit, and market development relationships. The bill would allow our industry to conduct market development activities in Cuba as well as make available credit guarantee programs.
“Finally, the bill would make permanent the elimination of restrictions such as the “cash in advance” interpretation, recently addressed by Executive Order, which have frustrated and bottled up trade. If passed and signed into law, the bill means that not only Cuban buyers would be afforded the same opportunities other nations, but that we as American exporters would be free to access the market like any other trading partner. This gives the legislation the real potential to help build a strong export partner only 90 miles from American soil.”
American Soybean Association