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Cochran backs bill to expand ag exports to Cuba

Cochran backs bill to expand ag exports to Cuba
The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi 1:54 p.m. CT Feb. 11, 2017

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran is supporting a new effort to help create more
export opportunities for Mississippi farmers by lifting a U.S.
restriction on private financing for American agricultural exports to Cuba.

The Mississippi Republican is an original cosponsor of the Agricultural
Export Expansion Act legislation, which would eliminate the prohibition
against providing private credit to finance agriculture sales to Cuba.
Financing such exports is limited to upfront cash payments, effectively
blocking American farmers from the Cuban market.

“Removing this barrier would help open the door for more Mississippi
rice and other agriculture exports,” Cochran said in a news release.

Agriculture is a $7.6 billion industry in Mississippi and supports
approximately 29 percent of the state’s workforce. In 2013, agriculture
exports totaled an estimated $2.3 billion, with soybeans, broilers and
cotton being the leading exports.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, and John
Boozman, R-Arkansas, would allow banks and companies to finance the sale
of American agricultural commodities to persons or entities in Cuba. The
statutory restrictions on financing of these products remain in place
despite the former Obama administration last year acting to remove
restrictions on non-agricultural products.

Source: Cochran backs bill to expand ag exports to Cuba –

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