The National Corn Growers Association joins U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and fellow farm and food organizations seeking to end the United States’ embargo against Cuba and advance trade relations between the two nations.
The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba is composed of more than 30 U.S. agricultural and food organizations committed to building a deeper U.S.-Cuba relationship.
Although agricultural exports to Cuba are legal, the financing and trade restrictions have hampered the ability of American farmers to compete with other countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, which do not face the same restrictions. U.S. corn exports to Cuba have decreased from nearly 800,000 metric tons in 2008 to 200,000 tons in 2013.
NCGA President Chip Bowling said, “Cuba is not a level playing field for American farmers. It’s time we have a chance to better compete for Cuba’s business. NCGA has long supported normalized trade relations with Cuba, as part of our efforts to expand markets for U.S. corn and feed the world. We are proud to join this coalition. We will work closely with our fellow coalition members to advance a trade relationship with Cuba that is efficient, globally competitive, and benefits both nations.”
Among the speakers who introduced the new coalition were a list of lawmakers from a variety of states, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and representatives from a number of the organizations who are part of the new group. “Today we gather to discuss an expanded opportunity for American agriculture – our farmers and our ranchers,” said Vilsack. “Allow them to expand business opportunities in a country just 90 miles from our border – Cuba.” [wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/government/usacc-vilsack.mp3″ text=”Secretary Vilsack at US Ag Coalition for Cuba kickoff”]