Thursday, June 21, 2007

American Farm Bureau Federation supports new Cuba legislation

Farm and Ranch Guide, North Dakota

Thursday, June 21, 2007 1:41 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The American Farm Bureau Federation today said it supports new legislation in Congress that promotes agriculture sales to Cuba, while removing burdensome restrictions impeding trade to that country. The legislation, introduced in the Senate by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and in the House by Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), would allow U.S. agriculture to continue selling goods to Cuba with the potential for a significantly increased share of the market, according to AFBF.

“There are considerable restrictions placed on U.S. agricultural sales to Cuba that impede our marketing efforts and sales to that country,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “This legislation would remove those costly barriers.”

U.S. agriculture sales to Cuba have totaled $1.4 billion since 2000. Last year alone agricultural sales totaled $350 million, up from the previous year.

“AFBF will continue its work with Congress to pass legislation to eliminate these costly restrictions on agricultural sales to Cuba,” said Stallman. “Such restrictions adversely affect markets and are an inappropriate tool for the implementation of foreign policy.”

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