- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says restarting trade between the U.S. and Cuba would be of enormous benefit to Louisiana.

President Obama on Wednesday said his administration would work toward resuming diplomatic relations and trade with Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years.

Strain, a Republican, tells The Advertiser (https://bit.ly/1z2SWRE) resumed trade would be a boon for the Port of New Orleans. A half-century ago, before the trade embargo with Cuba, 65 percent of all trade goods to and from Cuba traveled through the Port of New Orleans.

“Opening borders helps us,” he said. “We stand at the gateway.”

Strain said he supports resumed trade despite political differences between the two countries.

“We do business with China, Vietnam and other countries,” he said. “We need to progressively open our relationships. Through trade and education, communism cannot stand.”

Strain said that Cuba has suffered because of poor soil, and even its once touted sugar output has fallen off considerably.

Jim Simon, general manager of the American Sugar Cane League in Louisiana, said his organization does not fear a short-term threat from Cuban sugar.

“Maybe in years to come,” Simon said, but added that it takes many years to normalize trade relations.

He said that at one time Cuba was a “substantial sugar player,” but is less significant now.

___

Information from: The Advertiser, https://www.theadvertiser.com

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide