House Agriculture Committee Examines American Agricultural Trade with Cuba
The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to examine the potential for expanded agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba. Much of the conversation centered on the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act (H.R. 3687) and the potential for removing financing restrictions that have limited agricultural exports to Cuba.
“The history between the U.S. and Cuba is long and complicated, with the Castro regime’s stranglehold on the island nation long preventing normalized relations between our two countries. At the same time, many believe that lifting the financing restrictions on agricultural trade could improve the daily lives of Cubans while also helping American agricultural producers who are experiencing one of the greatest downturns in the agricultural economy since the Great Depression. If we are to be successful in lifting these restrictions, we must find common ground. Today’s hearing was a good step in that direction. It was also a reminder that, in my view, repeated efforts to lift both the embargo and restrictions on travel are a distraction that is preventing us from making meaningful changes,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.
Mr. Mark Isbell, Rice Producer, North Little Rock, AR, on behalf of USA Rice
Mr. Matt Gibson, Vice President and General Manager – Grain Division, Bunge North America, St. Louis, MO, on behalf of North American Export Grain Association
Ms. Karen Lowe, Senior Vice President & Agriculture Export Finance Division Head, CoBank ACB, Greenwood Village, CO
Dr. Luis A. Ribera, Associate Professor, Extension Economist, & Director – Center for North American Studies, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Mr. Mauricio Claver-Carone, Executive Director, Cuba Democracy Advocates, Washington, DC
Video: Full Committee – Public Hearing RE: American Agricultural Trade with Cuba