Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama Administration Seen Chipping Away at Cuba Embargo

Wire reports note that the Obama Administration could be slowly opening up more trade to the island nation.

Farm Futures staff

Could the Obama Administration be further weakening the trade embargo with Cuba? That's the conclusion supported by U.S. Rice Producers Association President and CEO Dwight Roberts, according to a Reuters report. Roberts told the wire service he fully expects Obama to enlarge on the small steps taken by the administration and Congress earlier this month, which softened some travel and trade restrictions. Roberts says he sees a trend in easing trade restrictions, but is also quick to add that he doesn't foresee an immediate end to the 47-year-old trade embargo with the island nation. Amendments passed in 2000 opened food sales to the island, including rice. American rice shipments to Cuba rose to 175,000 tonnes in 2004, but has slipped due to tighter rules introduced in the Bush Administration. Roberts says there will be considerable pressure from a variety of groups to ease trade restrictions with Cuba.

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