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  • Cuba imports roughly 80 percent of its food and U.S. farmers are missing out on a money-making opportunity, senators said.

    Cuba imports roughly 80 percent of its food and U.S. farmers are missing out on a money-making opportunity, senators said. | Photo: EFE

Published 15 May 2019

Approving bill would “yield big dividends for American farmers and the Cuban people,” Colorado Senator Michael Bennet said.

U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Boozman are attempting to build bridges with Cuba and expand agricultural exports by removing barriers to private financing, the pair said announcing the return of the Agricultural Exports Expansion Act of 2019 bill proposal.

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"We have heard loud and clear that US farmers and ranchers want the opportunity to compete and sell their products around the world, including in the Cuban market," Colorado Democratic senator and presidential candidate Bennet said in a statement.

The bill, proposed once before in 2018, attempts to open opportunities for agricultural sectors in Arkansas, Colorado and around the country to take advantage of the Cuban market. The nation imports roughly 80 percent of its food.

"The existing trade restrictions with Cuba continue to put our farmers and ranchers at a disadvantage," the senator said, explaining that passing this new bill would eliminate the blockades and trade complications imposed by the Law of Sanctions and Commercial Reforms (TSRA).

Approving the trade amendment would “yield big dividends for American farmers and the Cuban people,” Bennet said after reintroducing the legislative proposal Monday.

The initiative would greatly benefit both parties, particularly Cuban society after the series of austerity measures announced by the Cuban Ministry of Internal Trade (Minci) Sunday, instituting regulation on food and hygiene products.

Cuba annually imports more than US$2 billion in food from far away countries, which makes everything more expensive. This is a result of the financial and commercial restrictions of the U.S. blockade which has intensified the last few months as a result of additional measures imposed by the Trump government.


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