An amendment included in the farm bill allows the Department of Agriculture to use funds for Cuba-related trade activities. The Amendment by Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota permits the use of Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development funds for Cuba.
The amendment, according to the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, represents not only the opportunity to increase the competitiveness of U.S. agriculture, but the first legislation passed regarding Cuba in 17 years. USACC Chair Paul Johnson called the inclusion a “step in the right direction towards normalizing trade with Cuba.
Heitkamp introduced the amendment in June with Senator, John Boozman of Arkansas, both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Heitkamp said at the time the legislation would “support farm families and rural communities, especially as they face uncertainty.” The amendment allows funding to go toward trade servicing, technical assistance, and trade promotion activities in Cuba.