Heartland farmers could cash if trade opens with Cuba - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland farmers could cash if trade opens with Cuba

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - President Obama announced a deal that will strengthen U.S. relations with Cuba, Wednesday.

For more than half a century, the U.S. has limited travel to Cuba as well as imposed trade embargoes on Cuban goods.

Among other stipulations, Obama says it will now be easier to gain clearance to travel the country. Those allowed to travel will also be able to bring a limited amount of Cuban goods back to the U.S., including Cuban cigars.

While the changes announced today are only expected to have a minimal immediate impact, some predict it will lay the ground work for facilitating future discussions between the countries.

SEMO international business programs director Peter Gordon has traveled to Cuba several times in the early 2000's to lead students on educational tours of the county.

He says should trade re-open between Cuba and the U.S., farmers in the Heartland could a small, positive impact.

"Cuba is a small country. It's not like this is going to mean billions of dollars in sales," Gordon said. "But it is additional sales for American farmers."

Gordon says Cuba's close proximity to the U.S. - about 90 miles away from Miami - could make it a viable option for shipping.

"It would mean something to Missouri farmers and to U.S. manufacturers," Gordon said.

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