USW to Participate in Cuba Trade Mission; Trade Challenges Remain
Rebecca Bratter, USW Director of Policy, will travel to Cuba Nov. 10-13
to participate in an agricultural trade mission led by former U.S. Trade
Representative Allen F. Johnson. Kirby Jones, President of Alamar
(www.Alamar.com) is working with Ambassador Johnson to coordinate the
The group will meet with officials of Alimport, the Cuban import agency,
and the Ministries of Foreign Trade and Investment, Foreign Relations,
and Agriculture. Site visits will include agricultural facilities and
U.S. wheat industry played an essential role in the passage of the Trade
Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 that opened U.S.
agricultural and medical trade with Cuba. USW continues to work with the
industry for free, open trade with Cuba and is assisting the National
Association of Wheat Growers in its support of legislation currently
before Congress that would ease travel restrictions between Cuba and the
Cuba imports about 500,000 MT of wheat every year. Yet in a region where
U.S. wheat market share reaches an average of about 80 percent, Cuba
imports only about 36 percent of its wheat from the United States. Cuba
turns to other origins, despite less expensive ocean freight rates from
U.S. ports, to avoid U.S. government restrictions. For example, the U.S.
Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control rules require
Alimport to make cash payment in advance of shipment when buying U.S.
goods, including wheat a restriction the U.S. wheat industry strongly
U. S. Wheat Associates – Wheat Letter (16 October 2009)