American Farm Bureau Federation President, Bob Stallman, encourages lawmakers to lift the last ban on travel to Cuba. Lifting the bad would bring “enhanced agriculture trade,” Stallman states.
Travel to Cuba by Americans, barred for more than four decades, has a direct and indisputable connection to increasing the sale of U.S.-grown food to Cuba. If more Americans can travel to Cuba, more American products will be demanded there and that means increased trade for U.S. agriculture.
Regulatory hurdles in place in the United States are a strong hindrance to Cuban exports. Requirements such as cash trade and third-country banking all discourage Cuba from turning to the United States to meet their food needs. Add to these the ban of Americans traveling to Cuba and it is easy to see why U.S. exports are suffering.
Lifting the ban could mean increasing American Exports though. “Lifting the ban on Americans’ travel to Cuba would boost Cuban demand for U.S. food, due to increased tourist-driven food consumption,” states Stallman. He adds that the only thing holding the U.S. back from utilizing our higher quality products in respect to Cuba is “our own self-imposed government policy.” It is time to move forward and most Americans would agree.
Not only would lifting the ban enhance agriculture trade in the United States, it is likely that visiting Americans in Cuba would encourage civil society as well.