Washington—US | 3/24/17 — Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) recently introduced legislation which would restore trade with Cuba and grant the private sector the freedom to export US goods and services to Cuba while protecting US taxpayers from any risk or exposure associated with such trade.
The Cuba Trade Act of 2017 would: lift the Cuba trade embargo to allow farmers and other private sector industries to freely conduct business with Cuba; and grant US financial institutions the freedom to extend credit to Cuba, while ensuring there is no financial risk to federal taxpayers.
Nearly 150 US organizations have voiced their support for commonsense reforms to US-Cuba relations, including the US Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC), whose membership includes numerous dairy and farm organizations and companies.
“The Cuba Trade Act will provide the US farm and business community with new market access opportunities and allow US farmers, ranchers and food companies to efficiently address Cuban citizens’ food security needs,” said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, USACC chair.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), which is a USACC member, “supports the lowering of trade barriers between the United States and Cuba and eagerly awaits the opportunity for US companies to fulfill Cuban consumers’ demand for healthy and affordable dairy products,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA’s director of international affairs.
“At a time when we need more markets badly as ever, lifting the embargo and opening up Cuba for American agricultural commodities would help increase exports, create new jobs and boost the US economy,” Moran commented.
“Keep in mind that when we don’t sell agricultural commodities to Cuba, somebody else does,” he said. “While our unilateral trade barriers block our own farmers and ranchers from filling the market, willing sellers such as Canada and France, China and others benefit at the American farmers’ expense.
“This legislation simply seeks to amend our own country’s laws so that American farmers can operate on a level playing field with the rest of the world,” Moran added. “After more than 50 years of what was a well-intentioned embargo at the time it was enacted, it is time for American farmers and ranchers to truly have market acces to Cuba’s 11 million consumers.”