Boswell wants U.S. to normalize trade relations with Cuba

I don't write much about foreign policy here, but earlier this week President Barack Obama lifted some travel restrictions to Cuba, and Congressman Leonard Boswell devoted his weekly e-mail blast to making the case for normalizing trade with Cuba:

Since Iowa's economy is so strongly impacted by trade, I have been a supporter of opening-up the U.S. relationship with Cuba by lifting restrictions imposed in the 1960's.

I believe the Obama Administration has begun to move in the right direction by lifting travel and spending restrictions on Americans with family in Cuba.  The Administration is also lifting the ban on U.S. telecommunications companies reaching out to the island. This move will flood Cuba with the information its people have been denied for so many years and provide new opportunities for businesses.

While I commend these latest actions, I believe we must make bolder changes.  Normalizing trade relations with Cuba would expand export markets while benefiting our American famers and ranchers.

Because of my support for lifting trade restrictions with Cuba, I have cosponsored H.R. 1531, the Promoting American Agricultural and Medical Exports to Cuba Act, as well as H.R. 1737, the Agricultural Export Facilitation Act.  Both pieces of legislation would end the current trade embargo, which does not permit U.S. agricultural products from being exported to Cuba, among other things.

I believe we must maintain two-way trade relationships with foreign nations.  The U.S. can produce and ship products to Cuba more cheaply and efficiently than many countries Cuba imports from today.

The U.S. is on the right path toward improving relations with Cuba, and I am hopeful this relationship will continue to grow.

I am with Boswell on this, and not only because increased trade with Cuba would create a new export market for Iowa products. It's ludicrous that the U.S. has continued to impose such restrictions on trade with Cuba nearly two decades after the Soviet Union collapsed. Meanwhile, Communist China is a greater threat to our long-term security, yet we give them most favored nation trade status. It's very hard to avoid buying goods made in China (and believe me, I try).

This thread is for any comments about U.S. relations with Cuba.  

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