Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan encourages trade with Cuba

Earlier this month, Ryan traveled to Cuba to talk about economic partnership and innovation with Cuban officials. Courtesy of Bud Ellison

Earlier this month, Ryan traveled to Cuba to talk about economic partnership and innovation with Cuban officials. Photo by Bud Ellison

The Northeast Ohio Democrat says trade would bring billions of dollars to Ohio.

Establishing trade with Cuba would bring billions of dollars to Ohio and the U.S. That’s according to lawmakers who are pushing for improved relations with the island nation, after decades of an economic embargo. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Brian Bull reports.

Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan is back from a recent trade mission to Cuba. He says the streets there are filled with cars dating back to the 50’s — those that still run, that is.

“I think that country would look great with some Chevy Cruzes riding around in it,” Ryan says.

Cruzes manufactured in Lordstown. Earlier this month, Ryan and a contingent of Mahoning Valley business representatives traveled to the island nation to talk economic partnership and innovation with Cuban officials.

“We had close to 15 Ohio companies, that ranged from food service to health care to manufacturing to plastics, electrical switches. I mean we had a good diverse crew. And they all made some connections,” Ryan says. “Some will be more fruitful than others. But I think everybody had a very, very, positive experience down there.”

Since President Obama re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba this summer, some restrictions on trade and travel have been lifted. But it’s up to Congress to lift the economic embargo, something that could prove tricky.

Republicans have been critical of the White House’s gestures toward Cuba, pointing out human rights violations by the ruling Castro regime.

WKSU News

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