- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri agriculture officials are looking for ways to boost exports to Cuba following President Barack Obama’s announcement that he plans to ease trade restrictions with the Communist country.

Gov. Jay Nixon says he has asked the state Department of Agriculture to explore additional economic opportunities with Cuba.

The governor says he also is inquiring of federal officials about opportunities for trade missions to Cuba involving Missouri business, agriculture and government officials.

The U.S. already exports about $350 million of farm products annually to Cuba, including corn, soybeans and rice. Those exports could surge if the U.S. eases restrictions on financial transactions and allows Cubans to pay for products on credit instead of with cash up front.

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