This week during the Farm Progress Show, IL Corn was excited to host Cuban commercial attache Ruben Romas for a discussion on opening free trade with the country as soon as possible. Romas was invited to the show by the Illinois Cuba Working Group and visited many IL commodity groups and farmers while he was here.
As part of the activities available in our booth, IL Corn also helped hundreds of farmers send letters or sign a banner to Senator Kirk, asking for open and free trade with Cuba.
“Cuba could be a growing market for U.S. corn, but our own policies are standing in the way,” said USGC Chairman and IL farmer Ron Gray. “A major lesson from our recent trip was that the embargo has created an environment where our competitors such as Brazil dominate the market. If policy allowed us to help develop the Cuban market, we might be able to retake our dominant position.”
Cuba is a natural market for Illinois, as nearly 50 percent of Illinois corn leaves the state via the Mississippi River. Cuba is only 90 miles away from our border and has the potential to be our 12th largest market if the embargo were lifted.
Illinois expects corn and soy exports to grow beyond $330 million a year from Illinois. Cuba is a natural place for some of those increases to find a new home – one that will dramatically improve the quality of life for the citizens of Cuba.