US Lawmakers Begin Cuba Trade Mission
February 15, 2015 7:35 AM
A day after the U.S. announced it was loosening restrictions on Cuban
imports, two U.S. senators began a four-day trade mission to the island.
Democratic Senators Claire McCaskill from the Midwestern state of
Missouri and Amy Klobuchar from the north central state of Minnesota
went to Cuba Saturday to explore the new opportunities with Cuba.
The U.S. announced Friday it was allowing small private Cuban businesses
to sell goods and services to the U.S., except for food and agricultural
products, alcohol, tobacco products and some textiles.
McCaskill said she was interested in finding out what the farmers in
Missouri could sell to Cubans.
“I come from a very big agricultural state. We would love to sell the
Cuban people more rice. We would love to sell them more chicken. And
more beans and more corn. So hopefully this trip will also help my
farmers at home,” McCaskill said.
Meanwhile, Klobuchar talked about what other changes the U.S. and Cuba
could see with the lifting of restrictions, including the opening of a
U.S. embassy in Cuba.
“President [Barack] Obama has been working to bring an embassy here and
that’s why we’re looking at making changes to that first. I think that’s
really important. And then the next thing would be looking at travel
restrictions. We’ve made some changes there — relatives have been able
to come in, but I think it’s really important to lift that,” Klobuchar said.
Not all U.S. lawmakers have been pleased with the prospect of
normalizing relations with Cuba. Some Cuban-American lawmakers strongly
oppose Obama’s shift in policy toward Cuba, while others say it is past
time to end the more than five-decades-old U.S. embargo against the
Obama announced late last year that he and Cuban President Raul Castro
were working together to normalize relations between the two countries.
Some material for this report came from AFP and Reuters.
Source: US Lawmakers Begin Cuba Trade Mission –