U.S. Congressman Highlights Need for Agricultural Trade with Cuba

By Martha Andres Roman

Washington, Jun 7 (Prensa Latina) Republican Representative Tom Emmer considered necessary today a bi-directional agricultural trade between Cuba and the United States, at a time when the North American agricultural community faces great challenges.

With depressed prices of raw materials and rising fuel costs is a good time to look at a market that is 90 miles from our shores and also produces things that we do not produce, the congressman told Prensa Latina.

According to the Minnesota legislator, the term bidirectional trade is a good way to refer to what is wanted in that sense, because it consists in ‘providing the best we produce to the Cuban people and that they do the same with the United States.’

This is a relationship that, honestly, should have been happening for a long time, added Emmer, who on Thursday participated with three other legislators of his party in a panel on agricultural and economic capabilities with Cuba.

According to the congressman, in order to move towards this greater exchange, his country should begin by endorsing the Agricultural Exports Law to Cuba project, introduced in the House of Representatives by his colleague Rick Crawford and which currently has 64 co-sponsors.

This initiative is aimed at allowing private financing in sales to the island, because now, due to the restrictions of the blockade imposed by Washington to the Caribbean country for more than 55 years, Cuba can only buy American agricultural products if it pays in cash and in advance.

If the bill was taken to the plenary of the House of Representatives, I think it would be approved today, said Emmer on that proposal, but regretted that policies and decisions continue to be adopted only on the basis of a small group of legislators.

He pointed out that with Trump’s government it has been difficult to move forward on issues related to Cuba, but he said that the solution cannot be to complain because only a few people are heard on the matter, but to make sure that the right information reaches the White House.

We must make the administration understand how important this issue is and why, and on what side is the American people, he added.

According to the representative, the Americans agree with the work of those who want better links with the island, and the American point of view should not be reflected only by a small part of the population or of the legislators.

He considered that if the law is approved to allow the credits, the neighboring territory and the American farmers will be given the possibility of working on the details of the things they can do together.

‘As long as those restrictions are in place, it really frustrates the ability to sit at the table and see what each party has, what it needs,’ he lamented.

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