ND Again Eyes Cuban Market

Inside Dakota Ag

Small, but valuable market would be a boost

Published on: February 20, 2009

I used to dismiss calls by Dakota ag officials to lift the trade embargo with Cuba.

 

It seemed as if Fidel Castro was using farmers and politicians from rural states to put political pressure on the Bush Administration. The Cuban government didn’t seem to want to buy our grain as much as they wanted American tourists to come to their hotels and beaches.

 

But times change. Fidel Castro is gone. The world is in a recession.

 

The Cuban market may be small, but it’d be a boost and we need any boost we can get these days.

 

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson is leading a trade team to Cuba again in November.

 

“Visa and licensing requirements, cash-only sales and third party currency exchanges reduce U.S. competitiveness in the Cuban market,” Johnson said in a statement issued by his office. “I have seen North Dakota companies lose out to competitors from other countries because they were hamstrung by our own government’s failed policies.”

 

“With a new administration in Washington, I believe the time has come to push for the necessary policy changes to restore our place in a potentially valuable market.”

 

Amen.

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