Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Freedom to Export to Cuba Act Draws Ag Support
February 15, 2015
Andy Eubank

Last week a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Freedom to
Export to Cuba Act and a number of ag groups immediately applauded the
effort. The bill would end the United States’ trade embargo with Cuba.
Jasper County, Indiana farmer Kendall Culp, a board member of the
American Soybean Association, told HAT an end to the embargo is a long
time coming.

“I think it’s real positive for American agriculture when we’ve got a
country 90 miles away and we’ve been shut out of that for many decades
now. It just gives our farmers another market, another opportunity to
sell some of our commodities that we grow here in the United States.
Hopefully the way the legislation reads when it passes they will enjoy
the same trading rights and become a trading partner just like most of
the other countries are that we deal with.”

Culp said through their World Soy Foundation ASA has learned a lot in
working with countries that don’t enjoy the same standard of living we
do in the U.S.

“When we work with those countries, eventually when their economies grow
and improve their standard of living raises and there is more importance
on a balanced diet with more protein, which either means they’re going
to need more of our raw commodities or they’re going to need more meat,
and that’s good for soybean growers. We’re looking for markets all over
the world and when you find one that’s this close to your country it’s
pretty exciting. It’s something the American Soybean Association has
worked for many, many years, to try to normalize trade with Cuba, and it
looks like we’ve got a pretty good shot of making that happen now.”

The current embargo, allows United States exports of agricultural
products by use of third-party banking institutions, which adds to the
expense and makes trade more burdensome. The Freedom to Export to Cuba
Act repeals the current legal restrictions against doing business with
Cuba, including the original 1961 authorization for establishing the
trade embargo. It does not repeal human rights provisions or provisions
relating to property claims against the Cuban government.

The legislation was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and
backed by Senators Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.),
Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

“Soybean farmers are, perhaps more than our counterparts in any other
commodity, acutely aware of the benefits of growing our international
trade relationships,” said ASA President and Brownfield, Texas, farmer
Wade Cowan. “We are the nation’s leader in agricultural trade not
because of one large relationship with a major purchaser, but because of
our work in emerging economies like Cuba’s, which is why we’re so
excited to support, as we long have, an end to the embargo. We applaud
Sen. Klobuchar and all the bill’s co-sponsors for their bold approach in
introducing this bill, and we fully encourage its passage.”

The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S.Wheat Associates
issued a statement saying they “are pleased to see bipartisan
Congressional progress being made, and look toward a speedy and
permanent end to the Cuban trade embargo. NAWG and USW are members of
the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba, which also endorsed the

“It is refreshing to see our nation’s lawmakers reaching across the
aisle to produce real and meaningful change. Increased trade with Cuba
has great potential for U.S. wheat growers,” commented NAWG president
Paul Penner.

Cuba’s 11 million people consume close to one million metric tons of
wheat each year. It is the largest wheat market in the Caribbean, but it
currently purchases almost all of that wheat from the European Union and
Canada. Cuba could import at least 500,000 metric tons of wheat from the
United States each year but has not purchased U.S. wheat since 2011.
Under the current embargo, the United States can export agricultural
products to Cuba through the use of third-party banking institutions,
which makes facilitating trade burdensome and often more expensive.

“The farmer directors of NAWG and USW recently renewed a call to end the
Cuban trade embargo,” said USW President Alan Tracy. “We support the
bipartisan effort in the Senate that moves us one step closer to seeing
U.S. wheat flowing to our Cuban neighbors again.”

Source: Freedom to Export to Cuba Act Draws Ag Support | Hoosier Ag
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