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American farmers: We need Cuba to grow

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Staff Writer |
Cuba farmers market
Trade   "We should be doing more, not less"

Importing $2 billion worth of food each year, Cuba represents the kind of growth opportunity U.S. farmers and ranchers.

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) president Zippy Duvall said he encouraged the administration to tread lightly in making new rules for doing business with Cuba that would limit U.S. agricultural export opportunities.

President Trump’s recently announced policy changes relate to travel, tourism and benefits to the Cuban military.

Under new regulations to be released from the Department of the Treasury, Americans traveling to Cuba will be audited to ensure that they are complying with regulations.

In addition, Americans visiting Cuba and businesses will be prohibited from engaging in financial transactions with any entity that has ties to the Cuban military.

While none of the policy changes are directly related to U.S. farm and ranch goods, they likely won’t help grow U.S. agriculture’s mere $200 million sliver of Cuba's food import market.

"We should be doing more, not less, to encourage U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba.

"Our farmers and ranchers and the Cuban people would benefit from increased sales of high-quality, American-grown food and feed.

"The American Farm Bureau will continue to work with the administration and Congress to maintain and improve the conditions for agricultural trade with Cuba," AFBF President Zippy Duvall in a statement.

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