Soy Growers Oppose Rollback of Cuba Normalization Policy

The American Soybean Association (ASA) opposes the executive order released late Friday from President Donald Trump that rolls back provisions to further open Cuba to American investment and trade put in place by his predecessor, Barack Obama. In a statement, ASA Vice President and Iowa farmer John Heisdorffer pointed to the lost potential for American soybean farmers in Cuba as the United States takes a step back in its effort to increase opportunities for trade with the island nation.

“Today’s action by the White House to roll back the progress made by the Obama Administration to open the Cuban marketplace to American investment is troubling. As the farm economy continues to lag, we should be increasing our opportunities, not limiting them.

“This decision has put in jeopardy the progress we’ve seen to date in Cuba, and stifles our future success in that market by limiting our ability to create normal business and trade relationships with importers in Cuba, just like we do with almost every other nation. These include normal banking, credit, and market development relationships.

“Soybeans lead the nation in agricultural trade because we’ve been successful in cultivating trade relationships with large markets and small markets alike. We export our soybeans, and the products that our soybeans go into, like meat and cooking oils and others. For us to continue developing and expanding upcoming markets like Cuba, we need a progressive attitude from the White House on trade, not a knee-jerk reaction to what a previous administration has done.

“We sincerely hope the White House will reconsider its course on Cuba, and we’re more than willing to sit down and explain what a more productive course might include.”