State firms look to cash in on Cuban trade rules
Illinois News Network
While the lifting of a $100 cap on Cuban cigars and their famous rum has
gotten headlines, it's the lifting of other trade restrictions with the
island country that has Illinois companies in a position to profit.
President Barack Obama's latest decree allows for tractors and certain
agricultural products like pesticides and fertilizers to be sold on credit.
Before, Cuban business had to be done with cash-in-hand and often pushed
the island's business elsewhere.
Illinois Cuba Working Group Executive Director Paul Johnson said this
change will directly result in business for Illinois.
"The clarification that tractors and pesticides are not commodities and
can be exported to Cuba on credit is an advantage for a lot of Illinois
companies," he said.
Johnson said Illinois' corn and soybeans would play a big role in the
Cuban economy should trade be further expanded, saying "those are two
commodities that Cuba will never be able to grow locally. They're going
to be big drivers of the local economy."
Agriculture experts say Illinois could account for 15 percent of the
isolated Caribbean country's total corn and soybean imports if the 1960
embargo were lifted.
Fully open trade with the socialist country still looks unlikely, as
Obama said in a statement that the two countries were still far apart on
democracy and human rights issues.
Source: Journal Courier | State firms look to cash in on Cuban trade