Today the Illinois Soybean Growers is pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee actively discussed trade, credit and finance issues with Cuba during a public hearing in Washington, D.C.
“Opening up trade with Cuba remains a priority for Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG),” says ISG President Daryl Cates, a soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill., who has visited Cuba. “We will continue to support efforts like this that encourage dialogue and open up trade with this country that is just 90 miles off the U.S. coast. It’s an important market for Illinois soybeans and the poultry that consume our protein-rich meal.”
From 2014 to 2015, U.S. agricultural exports, which are exempt from the embargo, to Cuba fell 48 percent to $148.9 million, the lowest since 2002. While significant progress has been made, requirements for cash in advance for agricultural commodities sales to Cuba have deterred sales between the two countries, says Mike Levin, ISG director of issues management and analysis. This highlights the need for improved credit options between the U.S. and Cuba.
ISG believes improved economic trade relations between the U.S. and Cuba is the foundation for future success between the two countries. The development of the Cuban economy is as beneficial to Cuba as it is the U.S.
ISG staff and board members have visited Cuba to meet with top officials eight times, with future visits planned. Their insight has been shared by educating Illinois legislative and business leaders about the economic value of Cuban trade.
Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is a membership organization serving more than 43,000 Illinois soybean growers. ISG provides advocacy in Springfield and Washington, D.C., to promote the interests of Illinois soybean farmers and programs that enhance soybean production and demand. Voice for Soy, the online action center supported by ISG, allows growers to easily connect with legislators and regulators to advocate for Illinois agriculture. For more information about ISG, visit the website www.ilsoygrowers.com.
For more information contact:
Director of Communications
Director of Issues Management Analysis