Texas Agriculture February 3, 2017 : Page 6

Conferring on Cuba es, according to Frazier, is the two markets in Cuba. “There’s the market What opportunities lie ahead for Texas? to the Cuban people, and then there’s the market to President Barack By Jessica Domel the tourist trade. Depend-Obama. Multimedia Editor ing on what your product “It looks like Improved ports and lighter restric-or commodity is, you may tions on travel and trade may be a maybe some other be able to sell to the tour-golden opportunity for Texas farmers products may have ist market, which is for an opportunity to get and ranchers. higher quality and priced Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) leaders in there that before products, compared to sell-and staff recently attended a “Doing weren’t really on the Texas Farm Bureau directors Bob Reed (far left), Scott Frazier ing to the Cuban people, Business with Cuba” conference to list,” Frazier, a Nuec-(third from left) and Zack Yanta (in cowboy hat) recently met with discuss these opportunities and what es County farmer, said. business people from Cuba to discuss the potential for trade with which is for lower quality and priced products,” Fra-Nearly all of Cuba’s the island nation. it could mean for those involved in ag-zier said. major imports are also riculture. Groups like TFB hope tourism con-“The door is open. They want to be strong exports from Texas. Farmers duces their ability to buy from the U.S. tinues to increase, causing a greater friends with us. They want to do busi-and ranchers hope to be able to mar-compared to other countries.” Frazier hopes a new state-of-the-demand for higher quality and priced ness. I think they know that getting ket their rice, soybeans, beans, corn, products like those exported from art port facility in Cuba will help. freight from Texas to Cuba is a whole poultry, beef and pork to Cuba. “I think that may have some real Texas. But there are barriers in place. lot less expensive than getting it from Although it’s not clear on what, if The embargo restricts trade be-opportunities for us in Texas because Brazil, South Africa or something like that. I think for them, the opportunity tween Cuba and the U.S. and that by being able to ship in containers, any, changes President Donald Trump looks pretty good,” TFB State Director hurts those in Texas with goods the you don’t necessarily have to have will make regarding U.S.-Cuban shipload-size lots to send. You can trade. Whether or not action is taken, Cubans might want. Scott Frazier said. “Current policy will not let Cuba send much smaller container loads,” Congress retains the power to lift the A few years ago, the embargo only allowed humanitarian aid to the is-buy American goods on credit,” Fra-Frazier said. “I think that may create full embargo. The story continues in Texas Agri-land nation. But trade and travel re-zier said. “Instead, it forces Cuban some opportunities for us.” Another hurdle for Texas business-culture Daily on texasfarmbureau.org. strictions were loosened by former importers to pay with cash, which re-After we bought our first STIHL, we were pretty much sold on it. BROOKE WIBBENMEYER | HOMEOWNER F EBRUARY 3 , 2017 HAMILTON LAWSON IMPLEMENT COMPANY 800-658-6807 Goldthwaite 800-548-7865 MARBLE FALLS MUSTANG EQUIPMENT 830-693-5414 mustangequipment.com WINDTHORST BEREND BROTHERS, INC. WINDTHORST 940-423-6223 berendbros.com FS 38 TRIMMER $ MS 170 CHAIN SAW $ 000 00 NEW! BG 50 HANDHELD BLOWER 000 00 $ 00” bar † 000 00 “I’m glad I went with the 170--the price and reliability are outstanding.” – user prutsmanbros93 “It is a great piece of equipment for the price, plus with the STIHL name, it has dependability I can count on.” – user TL805 “I couldn’t be more happy with the product. It fires right up, runs strong and is effortless to operate.“ – user Smitty44 Check out these reviews and others on the product pages at STIHLdealers.com. JOIN US. 6 All prices are DSRP. Available at participating dealers while supplies last. † The actual listed guide bar length can vary from the effective cutting length based on which powerhead it is installed on. © 2016 STIHL

Conferring on Cuba

Jessica Domel

What opportunities lie ahead for Texas?

Improved ports and lighter restrictions on travel and trade may be a golden opportunity for Texas farmers and ranchers.

Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) leaders and staff recently attended a “Doing Business with Cuba” conference to discuss these opportunities and what it could mean for those involved in agriculture.

“The door is open. They want to be friends with us. They want to do business. I think they know that getting freight from Texas to Cuba is a whole lot less expensive than getting it from Brazil, South Africa or something like that. I think for them, the opportunity looks pretty good,” TFB State Director Scott Frazier said.

A few years ago, the embargo only allowed humanitarian aid to the island nation. But trade and travel restrictions were loosened by former President Barack Obama.

“It looks like maybe some other products may have an opportunity to get in there that before weren’t really on the list,” Frazier, a Nueces County farmer, said.

Nearly all of Cuba’s major imports are also strong exports from Texas. Farmers and ranchers hope to be able to market their rice, soybeans, beans, corn, poultry, beef and pork to Cuba.

But there are barriers in place.

The embargo restricts trade between Cuba and the U.S. and that hurts those in Texas with goods the Cubans might want.

“Current policy will not let Cuba buy American goods on credit,” Frazier said. “Instead, it forces Cuban importers to pay with cash, which reduces their ability to buy from the U.S. compared to other countries.”

Frazier hopes a new state-of-the-art port facility in Cuba will help.

“I think that may have some real opportunities for us in Texas because by being able to ship in containers, you don’t necessarily have to have shipload-size lots to send. You can send much smaller container loads,” Frazier said. “I think that may create some opportunities for us.”

Another hurdle for Texas businesses, according to Frazier, is the two markets in Cuba.

“There’s the market to the Cuban people, and then there’s the market to the tourist trade. Depending on what your product or commodity is, you may be able to sell to the tourist market, which is for higher quality and priced products, compared to selling to the Cuban people, which is for lower quality and priced products,” Frazier said.

Groups like TFB hope tourism continues to increase, causing a greater demand for higher quality and priced products like those exported from Texas.

Although it’s not clear on what, if any, changes President Donald Trump will make regarding U.S.-Cuban trade. Whether or not action is taken, Congress retains the power to lift the full embargo.

The story continues in Texas Agriculture Daily on texasfarmbureau.org.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Conferring+on+Cuba/2703953/381757/article.html.

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