DECATUR– The Illinois Soybean Association is at the forefront of lifting the decades long trade embargo with Cuba.
During a sit down interview with NowDecatur.com on Thursday during the final day of the Farm Progress Show, Doug Schroeder and Mike Levin with the ISA talked about their efforts.
“The Illinois Soybean Association started the Illinois-Cuba Working Group, which is a lobby group in Washington and since we started that we have seen great strides being made between the two countries,” Levin said. “We are happy with what we’ve seen so far with the Obama Administration and we will continue to work with them to lift these embargos.”
Schroeder said lifted embargoes could mean corn and soybean export numbers skyrocket, “Right now we look at about $20 million in soybean exports from Illinois each year, but with the embargo lifted on Cuba that number could feasibly jump to $200 million.”
“We see this as a good opportunity to share a much needed commodity, and one that has a great impact on Illinois, with a country that is in need, close, and willing to work with us; overall we think it’s a good idea,” Schroeder added.
Earlier this year President Obama released his plan to lift the embargo between the United States and Cuba that has been in place since 1961. Just last month Secretary of State John Kerry opened the U.S. Embassy on Cuban soil for the first time since 1961.