Illinois agriculture groups oppose Cuba rollbacks

Groups worry trade opportunities will be affected by Trump's decision

By LINDSAY GLOOR - lgloor@shawmedia.com Published: Saturday, June 17, 2017 1:40 p.m. CDT
President Donald Trump signs an executive order on a revised Cuba policy aimed at stopping the flow of U.S. cash to the country's military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations, Friday, June 16, 2017, in Miami. From left are, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Cary Roque, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Vice President Mike Pence and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) — Lynne Sladky

Four Illinois agricultural groups issued a joint news release Friday denouncing President Donald J. Trump's decision to limit former President Barack Obama's Cuba policy.

The presidents of all four organizations - the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Pork Producers Association and Illinois Soybean Growers - spoke on behalf of their members in the release saying, "Our farmer members are discouraged to hear that President Trump has decided to roll back the advancements we have made in agricultural trade opportunities with Cuba."

The release goes on to say that the groups feel the rollbacks infringe upon their freedom to sell agricultural goods, as Illinois farmers value sales with the island nation. The leaders also want market-based opportunities to increase revenue.

"Having this opportunity supports our belief that the development of the Cuban economy is as beneficial to Illinois farmers as it is to Cuba. Cuba is just 90 miles off the U.S. coast," the release states.