The State Department has taken one more swipe at Cuba in the final days of the Trump administration, officially declaring the communist country a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
The action may scare some potential investors away from doing new business with Cuban buyers, but it won’t have a direct impact on U.S. agricultural exports to the island nation, says Paul Johnson, president of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba.
“It’s politically motivated and completely annoying,” Johnson said, but stressed that the determination will not block U.S. ag exports.
Cuba imports about $2 billion worth of ag commodities per year, but only about 10% of that comes from U.S. farmers. Cuba is the fourth largest foreign market for U.S. poultry, according to the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council.
Nine Democratic senators criticized the new Cuba designation in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying: “In the final days of the administration, efforts to politicize important decisions concerning our national security are unacceptable and threaten to damage future diplomatic efforts toward Cuba and set a harmful precedent for future designations.”
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