U.S. farm leaders meet with Cuba’s president at U.N.

Mark Albertson (L), Miguel Diaz-Canal (R)

A group of U.S. ag leaders met with Cuba’s new president at the United Nations this week. Mark Albertson with the Illinois Soybean Association was one of them. He says they talked with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canal who is very interested in more ag trade with the U.S. but also wanted to thank the ag leaders for exporting food to his country.

Albertson says the U.S. exported $50 Million dollars of soybeans to Cuba last year, but, “That could have been $150-Million because Brazil and Argentina, they’re exporting soy and soybean meal to Cuba. That really should be our market. With Cuba being 90 miles away, there’s no reason why Brazil and Argentina soy should be making it’s way up to Cuba.”

Albertson says U.S. agriculture is mostly exempt from the embargo but there are still hoops to jump through. Pending legislation in Washington, that he says is supported by Illinois’ congressional delegation, would allow Cubans to use credit to buy U.S. ag products.

Paul Johnson with the U.S. Coalition for Cuba was also among those in the meeting.

AUDIO: Interview with Mark Albertson ~


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