Mar 19, 2015
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Yesterday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed House Joint Resolution 1006, calling on the U.S. government to lift its trade embargo on Cuba and open the market to American rice and other commodities.
Senator Eddie Jo Williams (R-AR-29) and Representative David Hillman (D-AR-13) sponsored the bipartisan resolution that supports the message Arkansas Rice members had delivered to their Congressional delegation during last month's USA Rice Government Affairs Conference.
"We thank the General Assembly and Governor Hutchinson for supporting our effort to open the emerging Cuban marketplace to Arkansas agriculture," said USA Rice Chairman and Arkansas rice grower Dow Brantley. "Rice is one of many commodities that could see significant gains for our farmers and Arkansas's economy if the federal government eases its decades-old trade embargo on Cuba."
Re-opening the Cuban market is a priority for USA Rice; most believe the first step is establishing normal, two-way commercial trade.
"Normal trade will get the Cuban economy moving to create capital that can be used to purchase the products they need -- rice foremost among them," said USA Rice's Marvin Lehrer, who recently returned from a trade trip to Cuba.
Contact: Ben Noble (501) 375-1100