WASHINGTON (October 17, 2016) – Effective today, the White House’s new proposals on the Presidential Policy Directive on Cuba present a major step towards improved trade relations with Cuba. In response to the administration’s action, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson released the following statement:
“Cuba offers a substantial trade opportunity for U.S. farmers and ranchers, but unfortunately, more than 50 years of failed policies have created barriers to a market just 90 miles off the Florida coast. We applaud the most recent action from the White House to further implement the President’s Cuba policies and break down barriers for improved agricultural trade with Cuba.
“While the impact of these new rules on agricultural trade may not be immediately experienced, the enhanced engagement with the people of Cuba could offer long-term advantages for agricultural trade. Specifically, the new rules that lift the 6-month waiting period for foreign ships to return to the U.S. after visiting Cuba will remove costly barriers for agricultural exporters.
“The combined action since the President announced his Cuba policy directive nearly two years ago has paved the way towards improved trade relations and market access. We continue to call on Congress to lift the remaining restrictions in the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act so that family farmers and ranchers can benefit from the expanded engagement with Cuba’s consumers.”