Cuomo: Cuba visit will prompt 'agricultural exchange'
Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed he will lead a trade mission to Cuba later this year, saying he'd like to develop “agricultural exchange” with the Communist island as the federal government removes economic restrictions first imposed in the 1960s.
“We think Cuba would be an available market and I think it's advantageous to be one of the first states to get there, to introduce yourself … and I want to take advantage of it,” Cuomo, a Democrat starting his second term, told reporters on Sunday.
“There's a lot of possible agricultural exchange. Again, Upstate New York is one of the markets that we'll try to develop. But, any of New York's main products, I think, has a possible market in Cuba. Whoever gets their first is ahead of the curve, and I want to be ahead of the curve.”
The Honorable Andrew Cuomo (D), Governor of the State of New York, visited the Republic of Cuba from 20 April 2015 to 21 April 2015.
He traveled with representatives of seven (7) New York-based companies and fifteen (15) members of his staff- seven (7) of whom had a focus upon relations with the media; none from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Two of the companies were agriculturally-focused. Neither company has reported any exports to the Republic of Cuba.
Cayuga Milk Ingredients, despite numerous efforts to follow-up directly with Republic of Cuba government-operated entities and to obtain assistance from Governor Cuomo (through Empire State Development Corporation), has received neither replies nor orders for product.
Food products and agricultural commodities have been eligible for export to the Republic of Cuba since 2000 under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSREEA).
Since December 2001 (the first purchases), the government of the Republic of Cuba has purchased approximately US$5.2 billion in eligible products on a cash basis, as required by the TSREEA. The Republic of Cuba from 2004 to 2008 imported from the United States US$81,149,466.00 in powered milk; none since that time.
Although agricultural commodities have been the majority of products exported from the United States to the Republic of Cuba since 2001, a representative from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets was not included by Governor Cuomo in the delegation; other governors have included in their delegations a representative of their respective agricultural-focused departments/agencies. Wine and apples have been exported from New York to the Republic of Cuba.
Chobani Greek Yogurt reports no exports to the Republic of Cuba.
U.S. - Cuba Trade and Economic Council, Inc.
Established in 1994, the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council provides an efficient and sustainable educational structure in which the United States business community may access accurate, consistent, and timely information and analysis on matters and issues of interest regarding United States-Republic of Cuba commercial, economic, and political relations.