Opinion: US farmers and the Cuban people benefit if we relax trade restrictions

Image result for state of louisianaCuban Trade May 11, 2017 by Mark Strain | In July 2016, I had the honor of leading a 94-person delegation from Louisiana to Cuba in order to promote agricultural trade, economic development, and tourism.

We accomplished a great deal during our short visit to Cuba, which included opening a dialogue with government officials and developing new business relationships. We also gained a better understanding of what the country’s needs are — and how Louisiana can fulfill those needs — by visiting places such as an organic farm, tobacco and corn farms, a farmers’ market, a grocery store, and the port in Mariel.

While there is no way to predict when, trade barriers between the U.S. and Cuba could possibly be relaxed. With that in mind, it is critical to establish these important business relationships now in order to gain access to new market opportunities—in our case for our Louisiana agricultural producers—when it does.

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