American agriculture is poised for substantial growth in the Cuban market but financing restrictions are placing U.S. farmers and ranchers at a serious disadvantage in this nearby market, the American Farm Bureau Federation wrote in official comments to the House Agriculture Committee.

The committee held a hearing today exploring the benefits of American agricultural trade with Cuba. AFBF has long supported opening trade with this market, just 90 miles off our coast. “Real opportunities exist for increased sales of U.S. agricultural products to Cuba as growing demand is driven by 11 million Cubans and by increasing tourism,” AFBF wrote. Yet, the U.S. has fallen from being the number one supplier of agricultural products to number five due to restrictions imposed on financing those sales.

“U.S. agriculture is at a global disadvantage as we watch foreign competitors continue to take away our market share,” AFBF said. “There is no better time than now to provide American farmers and agribusinesses the tools they need to expand agricultural exports to Cuba and help our industry survive this difficult economic environment.”

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation news release