Last week, President Donald Trump announced a tougher policy with Cuba, and the first United states delegation to the country started its visit Tuesday.
The group includes members of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC), which is pressing more ag trade with the island nation. The delegation is downplaying the potentially negative effects of a new U.S. approach to relations with Cuba.
“We were expecting it,” said Paul Johnson, co-president of the USACC. “It wasn’t as bad as what [Turmp] was announcing—once you read the policy, there are a lot of opportunities within it.”
Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) says the trip is designed to build relationships in hopes of future Minnesota agricultural sales to Cuba.
“Agriculture was explicitly omitted from some of the changes that the President expects to move forward on, so it’s a good reminder that there are lots of opportunity where we can work together,” said Smith.
Some agriculture sales are still allowed under Trump’s policy which bars many transactions with businesses linked to the Cuban military.