July 20, 2015

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106 

WASHINGTON (July 20, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson hailed the reopening of the Cuban embassy in Washington and urged Congress to quickly pass the “The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2015,” a bill that would lift the failed trade embargo and reopen full trade with Cuba.

“After 54 years of a failed policy based on isolating Cuba, today is truly a new threshold in our relationship with one of our closest neighbors,” said Johnson.  “Now Congress should move quickly to knock down those self-imposed, outdated trade barriers and open up new export opportunities for U.S. family farmers and ranchers,” he said.

Johnson noted that full resumption of trade with Cuba, an island nation of 11 million people just 90 miles from American shores, would be the next logical step in a complete normalization of the relationship that has been strained for far too long.

“The financial restrictions that remain in place prevent normal business relationships from developing between the U.S. and Cuba,” said Johnson. “American agriculture would greatly benefit from extending credit to Cuban buyers and allowing them to purchase not just American farm goods, but also auto parts, and other durable goods that American family farmers, ranchers and rural communities are already producing and are eager to sell,” he said.

Johnson applauded the Obama administration for leading the nation into this historic thaw in relations with Cuba. “NFU has worked hard over the last five years to push for a normalization of relations with Cuba,” said Johnson. “And it is heartwarming to finally see that beginning to happen.”

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


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