(Learfield News Service/Cuba) Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, on a trade mission in Cuba with Minnesota ag leaders and businesspeople, acknowledges that President Trump’s recent declaration on trade policy with the island nation ” is definitely a setback in trading relationships and overall relationships with Cuba, but we still need to continue to find a way to move forward. That is what our job is, for the good of Minnesota farmers and Minnesota businesses.” Smith points out agricultural commodities are exempt from new regulations.
The lieutenant governor didn’t announce any new deals, but officials say they’re getting a feel for the new political climate in Cuba after the president’s remarks so they can cultivate possible new markets. Smith says, “Those are the kinds of things that you need to work on for the long term. Given that we haven’t done significant work on this for a while, it’s not surprising to us [that there are no new deals yet].”
Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Harold Wolle says one big problem that remains is, “Cuba has a definite need for credit, as do many of our other trading partners. So this is a federal issue that we need to work on.”
KDUZ KARP, June 23, 2017