US Group Stresses Benefits of Trade with Cuba

Radio Cadena Agramonte

"Engage Cuba", the main coalition of companies and organizations working to end the blockade of trips to and trade with the island, has highlighted the benefits of agricultural trade between both countries. A report published on its website mentions the advantages that this kind of trade would bring to six US states: Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri and North Dakota.

The document, published jointly with The US Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC), is the second analysis by the group on the specific benefits for those agro-industrial states and highlighted that they have a lot to gain in future trade agreements with the neighboring island.

The text refers to eventual export by those regions of agricultural products that Cuba currently buys in other markets, such as rice, poultry, soy, corn and wheat, the trade of which could significantly increase if the blockade were lifted.

The most recent report shows that the US agro-industry is losing Cuban market quotas due to "our own policies, which prevent companies from allowing Cuba to make transactions, said Engage Cuba President James Williams.

The executive referred to the current disadvantages of this situation to US business people and explained that the document showed once more how the US Congress' failure to proceed in this regard, not only affects agricultural producers that cannot compete in the every-time-more-important Cuban market, but also Cuban producers, who import around 80 percent of their agricultural produce.

In its conclusions, the text presents the advantages that the lifting of Washington's economic, financial and trade blockade of the island, for more than 50 years, would represent to the six US states and even for regions that were important trade partners before and are now losing billions of US dollars such as the state of Iowa.