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Article

IDFA Supports Efforts to Restore Ag Trade with Cuba

Mar 15, 2017

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) late last month unveiled the Cuba Trade Act of 2017, a bill that would repeal or heavily amend current laws restricting trade with Cuba, and has begun his push for Senate support. For the dairy industry, the act would enable U.S. farmers and food companies to sell their goods in Cuba and would remove U.S. financing restrictions that currently require Cuban importers to pay cash in advance or finance the transactions through third-country banks.

“At a time when we need more markets badly as ever, lifting the embargo and opening up Cuba for American agricultural commodities would help increase exports, create new jobs and boost the U.S. economy,” Moran said to his colleagues on the Senate floor. “Keep in mind that when we don’t sell agricultural commodities to Cuba, somebody else does.”

Past reports of U.S. dairy’s potential in Cuba estimate that American exporters could capture more than 30 percent of the market for total dairy products, predominantly milk powder and whey products, over the next 10 years.

IDFA supports the lowering of trade barriers between the United States and Cuba and eagerly awaits the opportunity for U.S. companies to fulfill Cuban consumers’ demand for healthy and affordable dairy products,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs.

As part of its efforts, IDFA is a member of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, a group of more than 100 agricultural commodity and farm organizations, along with U.S. food and agricultural corporations that support lifting the financing, trade and travel bans for Cuba.

For more information, contact Hughes at bhughes@idfa.org.