Posted on 28 April 2011 by ETR Staff Report
Agricultural trade with Cuba just became a little easier.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency recently authorized
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to offer direct flights to
the island nation. Previously, Texas farmers and ranchers who planned to
travel to Cuba for trade purposes encountered extra travel time and
expense because only three U.S. airports – Miami International, JFK
International and Los Angeles International – were designated for direct
In 2008, I led a delegation of Texas agriculture leaders on the first
official state sponsored trade mission from Texas to Cuba in more than
45 years – since President Kennedy enacted the embargo. I learned
firsthand about Cuba's need for agriculture infrastructure development.
The trade mission simply reinforced my belief that exporting the
products and knowledge of Texas producers is also an effective way of
promoting our values about political freedom and market economy.
I don't agree with Cuba's political philosophy, and we must continue to
take a thoughtful approach to normalizing trade and travel between our
two countries. However, I am excited to see how facilitating travel to
Cuba for agriculture producers will increase trade opportunities for
Texas, and grow jobs for the Texas economy.