Despite the fact that Cuba is located just across the Gulf, Mississippi farmers are losing out on Cuba’s growing market to foreign competitors around the world. Given Mississippi’s world-class ports and proximity to our island neighbor, as well as Cuba’s reliance on food imports, Mississippi is uniquely positioned to be a world leader in exports to Cuba. But Congress must lift the travel and trade embargo in order to provide efficient and economical trade opportunities for Mississippi farmers which would help support Cuba’s fastest growing sector, private entrepreneurship.
Despite the fact that the Port of Mobile is located just across the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama businesses will continue to lose out on Cuba's growing markets to foreign competitors until Congress ends the U.S. travel and trade embargo on Cuba.
With world-class ports and proximity to Cuba, Texas is uniquely positioned to be an international leader in exports to our island neighbor. Despite the fact that Cuba is located just across the Gulf, Texas farmers are losing out on Cuba's growing markets. Every year the embargo is in place, foreign competitors will continue to gain market share in Cuba as Texans are stuck on the sidelines. The U.S. used to be the top supplier of agricultural goods to Cuba, but we have fallen to fifth behind the EU, Brazil, Argentina, and Vietnam.
AUSTIN, TX – Engage Cuba, a leading advocacy organization, today launched the Engage Cuba Texas State Council to build statewide support for Congressional action to end the travel ban and trade embargo on Cuba. The founding members of the Council include Texas leaders from a broad range of sectors including agriculture, business, technology, manufacturing, education, energy and health care. The Council seeks to expand trade with Cuba in order to provide economic and educational opportunities for the people of Texas, while empowering the Cuban people.
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee overwhelmingly voted to include four pro-engagement Cuba amendments in a must-pass FY 2017 appropriations bill. An amendment offered by U.S. Sens. John Boozman (R-AR) and Jon Tester (D-MT) to allow American farmers to extend private financing for the export of agricultural commodities to Cuba passed by a vote of 22-8, with the support from Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS). An amendment offered by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) to end the travel ban on Cuba then passed by voice vote.
"Restoring commercial flights to Cuba is a major step forward in normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Commercial flights will allow for better service and cheaper fares for American travelers and provide opportunities for increased engagement between the U.S. and Cuba," said President of Engage Cuba James Williams. "It makes no sense that Americans will soon be able to go online and book a flight to Cuba, but U.S. policy will still prohibit tourist travel to our island neighbor. Today's announcement further proves that the travel ban is an outdated relic of the Cold War era. It's time for Congress to act and end the travel ban."
Ending the travel and trade restrictions with Cuba would provide tremendous opportunities for Iowa businesses and enable economic mobility for the Cuban people. While the Obama administration has eased some restrictions on travel to and trade with Cuba, it’s time for Congress to lift the embargo, which harms Iowa business and hinders economic opportunities for the Cuban people.
Engage Cuba, the leading coalition of businesses, trade organizations and civil society groups advocating for an end to the travel ban and trade embargo, co-published a “Heartland Survey” of voters’ opinions on U.S. policy toward Cuba. The poll, conducted by the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, revealed that the majority of Iowans from both the Republican and Democratic parties support free trade and travel to Cuba, including 64 percent who support lifting the travel ban.
DES MOINES, IA. – Leading advocacy organization Engage Cuba today launched the Engage Cuba Iowa State Council to build statewide support for Congressional action to end the travel ban and trade embargo on Cuba. The council will be made up of prominent leaders across Iowa from a broad range of sectors including agriculture, business, manufacturing, education, energy and health care, as well as government and religious leaders. Members of the council seek to expand trade with Cuba in order to provide opportunities for Iowa businesses and empower the Cuban people.
Lifting the embargo on Cuba would provide tremendous opportunities for Georgia businesses and enable economic mobility for the Cuban people. While the Cuban government should ease regulations to allow for the growth of private entrepreneurship in Cuba and increased investment from U.S. companies, it’s time for the U.S. Congress to allow trade and travel with Cuba. Opening up our geographic and commercial borders to an island neighbor will allow Georgia’s agricultural, tourism and manufacturing industries to flourish and provide Cuba with the necessary commodities to keep up with increased foreign travelers.