On Monday, AgriGrowth staff attended the “Modernizing U.S. – Cuba Relations Summit” hosted by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus. The event focused on the potential benefits of modernizing trade relations between Cuba and the U.S. and the economic opportunities for Minnesota business, specifically agriculture, in enhancing the U.S. trade relationship with Cuba. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, Michael Scuse, gave a brief talk on the opportunities available for U.S. farmers and described the numerous advantages the U.S. has over its competitors with regards to Cuba.

The summit also featured a panel with various representatives from Minnesota business, government, academia, and non-profits. The panelists were:

  • Dave Frederickson, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Rodolfo Gutierrez, Executive Director, Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research
  • Ralph Kaehler, Minnesota farmer and participant in Cuba trade missions
  • Regina McGoff, Executive Director, Center for Global Education, Augsburg College
  • Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Cargill and Chair, U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba
  • Jason Adkins, Executive Director, Minnesota Catholic Conference

Senator Klobuchar has introduced a bill, S. 491, with bipartisan support that would lift the trade embargo on Cuba.

An economic analysis of U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba can be found here.

See a slideshow of pictures from the day below.


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