- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he believes there’s momentum for more trade opportunities with Cuba after visiting the country, but says the next steps will have to come from Congress.

The Republican governor told reporters Friday the next steps for Arkansas to take advantage of that relationship will be for Congress to ease travel and financing restrictions with Cuba. Hutchinson on Wednesday returned from a trade mission to Cuba, becoming the first governor to visit the country since the United States reopened its embassy there in July.

Hutchinson said the financing restrictions that require cash payment in advance have hurt Arkansas’ efforts to export agricultural products to Cuba. State officials have said Arkansas’ rice, poultry and pork industries would benefit from the easing of that restriction.

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