Thursday, February 14, 2008

State Agriculture Officials Urge Change is Cuba Policy

Ag Chiefs Urge Action on Cuba TradeUSAgNet - 02/14/2008

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture called on the Bush Administration Wednesday to interpret the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act as broadly as possible, to enable U.S. companies to compete with other countries in Cuba.

"Our trade policy with Cuba is completely inconsistent with respect to our relations with other countries," said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, the president of NASDA. "Cuba is a major potential market for U.S. products, especially agricultural products, but our efforts to increase trade there are severely restricted by our own federal government."

Johnson leads a 12-member trade North Dakota trade delegation to Cuba next week. The policy amendment, offered by Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach, was adopted unanimously.

NASDA is comprised of the commissioners, secretaries and directors of the 50 states and four U.S. territories. Johnson was elected president of the group last September, and will host the national conference in Bismarck in September.

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