NFU President Roger Johnson praised Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on the introduction of the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill in the US Senate that would modernize US policy towards Cuba and boost opportunities for American family farmers, ranchers and rural communities.
“The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2015 will lift the failed trade embargo and boost US agricultural exports to Cuba,” said Mr Johnson.
“Breaking down trade barriers is necessary to provide US family farmers with increased market access and opportunities for trade in Cuba, a market of 11 million people just 90 miles away from American shores.”
Mr Johnson noted that the bill would also remove financial restrictions that currently create barriers to trading with Cuba, including allowing US banks to extend credit to Cuban buyers.
“The financial restrictions currently in place prevent normal business relationships from developing between the US and Cuba,” said Mr Johnson.
“Extending credit to Cuban buyers allows for the purchasing of American farm goods, auto parts and other products that American family farmers, ranchers and rural communities already produce and are eager to sell.”
Mr Johnson also noted that the bill would remove restrictions on direct shipping between Cuban and American ports.
“This restriction is costly and an unnecessary trade barrier,” said Mr Johnson. “It slows down the movement of agricultural products from the US to Cuba, making trade very difficult.”
“The Cuban embargo has made no sense for a long time. This bill addresses and removes the barriers and restrictions that have failed American agriculture and the Cuban people for over 50 years.”