Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has added his voice to a group of food and agriculture companies who want President Obama’s announcement he would normalize relations with Cuba to be followed by the lifting of the embargo of trade with the island nation.
The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba held a “public launch” today in Washington D.C. Along with several members of the U.S. House and Senate that spoke in support of the effort was Governor Nixon.
“I respectfully … call on members of Congress to support our farmers, support the free market, and support this outstanding opportunity to strengthen our economy right here at home. Now is the time for Congress to follow through and remove these financial restrictions,” Nixon said. “Lift the embargo and do away with the self-imposed barriers that are holding us back.”
Nixon says as long as the embargo remains in place the U.S. is willfully losing out on a major market.
“Brazil alone has quadrupled its exports to Cuba. Quadrupled. We are prepared compete in that zone given a level playing field, that’s for sure,” Nixon said. “In a competitive world we can not ignore 11-million customers 90 miles from our country.”
Some among the Republican majorities in Congress, however, have expressed opposition to lifting that embargo. One among them is Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), who says Cuba has a bad track record of not paying for goods that aren’t paid for up front.
Earlier story: Missouri ag director on exploring trade with and a mission to Cuba