NPR Jonesboro, Arkansas
By: Brandon Tabor
U. S. Representative Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro) has returned from his “fact-finding” mission to Cuba for his agricultural trade bill. He shared his experience with Talk Business and Politics on their TV show over the weekend. He said he was “pleasantly surprised” about his visit.
"Everywhere you look, you see really that this is a culture on the cusp of some really major social change, political change, economic and cultural change that I think bodes well for them and certainly for us as we're trying to normalize a relationship with them starting with agriculture," Crawford said. "That's kind of the jist of my bill."
Crawford’s bill, known as the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act, is designed to make it easier for Cuba to purchase agricultural products, such as rice and chicken, from Arkansas and end export restrictions.
Arkansas leads the nation in the amount of rice grown and is the 2nd largest poultry producer in the nation—two staples of Cuban cuisine.
The Engage Cuba Coalition made a comment about how Congress is handling the embargo. President James Williams said Congress could end the embargo quickly if “they got off of their butts.”
Congressman Crawford addressed Williams comments and explained that ending the embargo is not as easy as it seems.