Caution In Cuba & Potato Lawsuit
The USDA has been denied a request to dismiss a lawsuit by a dozen eastern Idaho potato growers seeking to end a quarantine after the discovery of the pale cyst nematode. The discovery has caused some countries to ban the export of the potatoes. USDA argued that the Idaho farmers didn't have standing under federal laws to bring the lawsuit and that the lawsuit wasn't specific enough. A federal judge rejected those arguments.
The President's historic visit to Cuba this week has a lot of people talking about the long-standing embargo and whether it should be lifted or remain in place. Lifting the embargo would open the island nation up to exports from the U.S. including ag products. Congressman Dan Newhouse, who's also a Central Washington farmer, has mixed feelings.
NEWHOUSE: Certainly I recognize that Cuba holds a lot of potential for agricultural products grown in the United State. They could be a huge trading partner for us so there is opportunity there but I think that we have to be somewhat cautious as we move forward and liberalize trade with what continues to be a communist country, who remains totalitarian. They continually violate human rights against their own people. They continue to harbor fugitives and terrorist from our own country so there's long list of things that can be ignored, certainly a lot of potential but there's a lot we should expect in return.
That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.