USA Rice, USACC Meet with Cuban Ambassador and Other Diplomats on Status of Trade Relationship

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Fernandez de Cossio
Sep 14, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier this week, USA Rice participated in a roundtable discussion at the Embassy of Cuba with Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera and visiting Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Cuba Fernandez de Cossio.  Other participants in the event included members of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) and staff from the House Agriculture Committee.

The primary objective of the discussion was to introduce members of the U.S. industry in support of broadening trade with Cuba to the visiting Deputy Minister.  The group talked through the current state of affairs for U.S.-Cuba relations and also brainstormed various legislative and administrative approaches that could help lessen the impact of the 1962 trade embargo on Cuba.

“This meeting was a great chance to visit with more personnel from Cuba and our interests are certainly aligned,” said Asiha Grigsby, USA Rice director of international promotion for the Western Hemisphere.  “The ability to provide financing through U.S. institutions would be the most effective tool from a piecemeal approach to increasing U.S. rice exports to Cuba but that requires legislative action that have yet to see materialize.”

USA Rice reminded Cuban Embassy personnel and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs that if Republicans reclaim Congress this fall the changing political landscape in the U.S. Congress may add more challenges to making progress in liberalizing the U.S.-Cuba relationship.

USACC members also shared their disappointment in the reversal of progress by the U.S. Executive Branch over the last six years and frustration that more hasn’t been done by the Biden Administration to expand travel and other economic opportunities that would benefit U.S. businesses and the people of Cuba.