Over the weekend, President Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City. It was the first meeting between leaders of the neighboring nations in more than 50 years. Midwest farmers and ranchers are hoping for a quick end to the American embargo on selling their products to the communist country. They see Cuba as a huge, untapped market for their goods. Cuba imports more than $2 billion dollar worth of food from Asia and South America, including tons of rice from Asia. Missouri rice farmer Paul Combs says American farms are much closer to Cuba and can supply higher quality rice at a cheaper price.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill visited Cuba recently. She’s says it’s time for the U.S. to drop the embargo.
The National Chicken Council, American Soybean Association, the US Cattlemen’s Association and dozens of other agriculture groups throughout the Midwest are pushing for an end to the embargo.