The letter signed by over 100 agricultural commodity and farm member organizations, along with the agricultural private sector make clear their desire to keep trade with Cuba open.
February 22, 2019
Honorable Sonny Perdue U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250
Dear Secretary Perdue,
At a time when the need to develop new export markets is more important than ever, we urge you to work in strong support of U.S. agricultural producers seeking to expand our exports to Cuba. American firms are permitted under current U.S. law to export food products to Cuba and President Trump was wise to single these activities out and support them in his 2017 National Security Memorandum, “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba.”
We urge you to use the new authority granted by the Farm Bill to enable FMD and MAP export promotion work to take place in the Cuba market. We hope that those funds will be fully implemented in 2019 for Cuba and allow us to both promote, educate, and carry-out research that will help us to compete with existing countries currently exporting food to Cuba.
The coalition is also aware that the administration is considering changes to the enforcement of Title III in the Helms-Burton Act of 1996. Such a move would invite an unnecessary flood of litigation and dash the export of U.S. food products to Cuba, harming American companies and the Cuban people who depend on these products. We urge you to continue supporting the export of U.S. food products to Cuba.
Throughout history, agriculture has served as a bridge to foster cooperation, understanding, and the exchange of ideas among people. Even during the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, we exported grain while always advocating for the freedoms that define the United States of America.
The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba believes that improving agricultural trade with Cuba is good economics and good foreign policy. It is consistent with our trade policy around the globe and helps U.S. agriculture to build links with Cuban society – including holding companies, state enterprises, and the many thousands of Cubans who work in the private sector in agriculture as members of private farmer cooperatives.
Mr. Secretary, you well know that this is a time of turbulence in our agricultural export markets, and every market, no matter the size, is important. There is no reason for us not to increase substantially our market share in a neighboring country that imports $2 billion in food each year.
The USACC represents a broad range of more than 100 agricultural commodity and farm member organizations, along with members of the agricultural private sector, who support improving rural economies and enhancing opportunities for U.S. agriculture through normalized trade with Cuba.
We greatly appreciate your tireless efforts on behalf of U.S. farmers and ranchers, and we will welcome your assistance in promoting agricultural commerce with Cuba.
United States Agriculture Coalition for Cuba
American Farm Bureau Federation American Soybean Association American Seed Trade Association American Feed Industry Association American Hardwood Export Association of Equipment Manufacturers Cherry Marketing Institute
Corn Refiners Association Council of State Governments CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture Global Aquaculture Alliance Independent Professional Seed Association International Dairy Foods Association Matter National Association of Wheat Growers National Association of Egg Farmers National Barley Growers Association National Black Growers Council National Chicken Council National Corn Growers Association National Council of Farmer Cooperatives National Farmers Union National Foreign Trade Council National Grain and Feed Association National Milk Producers Federation National Oilseed Processors Association National Potato Council National Renderers Association National Sorghum Producers National Turkey Federation North American Export Grain Association North American Meat Institute Rural & Agricultural Council of America Soyfoods Association of North America USA Poultry & Egg Export Council US Canola Association US Cattlemen’s Association US Dairy Export Council US Dry Bean Council US Wheat Associates US Rice Producers Association USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council USA Rice Federation Agribusiness Council of Indiana Arkansas Rice Growers Association Arkansas Farm Bureau California Rice Producers Holstein Association USA
Illinois Corn Growers Association Illinois Cuba Working Group Illinois Soybean Growers Illinois Farm Bureau
Indiana Farm Bureau Indiana Corn Growers Association Indiana Soybean Alliance Indiana Corn Marketing Council Iowa Corn Growers Association Iowa Farm Bureau Iowa Soybean Association Kansas Wheat Livestock Exporters Association of the USA Louisiana Rice Council Michigan Agri-Business Association Michigan Apple Association Michigan Bean Shippers Michigan Bean Commission Michigan Milk Producers Association Michigan Corn Growers Association Michigan Potato Industry Commission Minnesota Grain and Feed Association Missouri Corn Growers Association Missouri Soybean Association Missouri Department of Economic Development Missouri Rice Council Missouri Forest Products Association Missouri Farm Bureau Mississippi Rice Council Ohio Farm Bureau Texas Farm Bureau University of Missouri-Fisher Delta Research Center Alcorn State University Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Wisconsin Soybean Association
Advanced Drainage Systems AGCO Bunge Butterball
Cargill, Incorporated Chicago Foods International Campbell Farms Clark AG Company CoBank Dairy Farmers of America
Franklin Electric GreenStone Farm Credit Services Hampton Alternative Energy & Feedlot Hover Farms Intertek Agriculture Services Kaehler Agriculture Enterprises Kerley Nutritional Consulting Louis Dreyfus Company Missouri BioZyme, Inc Missouri Burnett Farms Martin Rice Company Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, Inc Mountaire Net Worth Feeds & Feeding Orrick Farm Services Pilgrim’s Producers Rice Mill Gary Murphy Farms Smithfield Foods South Louisiana Rail Facility Sun-Maid Growers of California St. James Winery Synergy Resource Solutions, Inc. Thomas E. Jennings and Associates, Inc. Turkey Knob Growers TRC Trading Group US Wellness Meats US Cava Exports