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Mississippi farmers could see a rise in exports

WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Senator Thad Cochran has thrown his support behind a new effort to help more export opportunities to Mississippi farmers by lifting a U.S. restriction on private financing for American Agricultural exports to Cuba. 

The Agricultural Export Expansion Act would eliminate and rules against providing private credit to finance agriculture sales to Cuba.

Right now the current law only allows upfront cash payments to finance those exports which does not allow American farmers from the Cuban market.

“Lifting the private financing restriction on agriculture exports is a step in the process to stabilize U.S. agricultural ties with Cuba. Removing this barrier would help open the door for more Mississippi rice and other agriculture exports,” Cochran said. “I hope this bipartisan legislation will be approved as the Congress and administration look for ways to improve our economy.”

Cochran wishes to expand markets for Mississippi agriculture products. It is a $7.6 billion industry in Mississippi and supports approximately 29 percent of the state’s workforce.

Efforts are also being made on the state level to evaluate how trade with Cuba could impact Mississippi.

In a Senate resolution, state senators have petitioned the Mississippi Development Authority to make a report of how the state could be impacted by enhanced Cuban trade and to report those findings to the Senate Economic Development Committee and the House Committee on Agriculture by December 1.

MDA would work with the Minister Counselor, the Economic Trade Office, the Embassy of Cuba and the Governor in the research for this study.

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