Enhanced Cuban Trade Would Be Good for U.S. Ag
Paul Johnson is the co-chair of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, and he says agriculture can improve relations with Cuba in a way that no other economic category can
Johnson: “An agricultural relationship impacts everyone’s lives. While the current political goals of increasing tourism or improving entrepreneurial sector of Cuban civil society is good. It does not impact every Cuban like agriculture does. Not every Cuban can own their own business. Not every tourist will encounter every Cuban. But agriculture will fortify our relationship and allow it to grow productivity, competitively and collectively.”
National Association of Wheat Growers President and Washington wheat farmer Brett Blankenship says the trade embargo is simply not punishing the intended party.
Blankenship: “Unilateral embargoes only hurt the people doing the embargoes and thats what we’ve been faced with. We may have inconvenienced the Cuban government some, but we’ve held back from providing American wheat to the Cuban people — but more importantly we’ve hurt American farmers and denied them the opportunity for this export market.”
The USACC is a grouping of more than 100 state and national agricultural organizations and companies seeking to expand trade with Cuba, which lies just 90 miles from the coast of the U.S.