La. agriculture commissioner again pushes for trade with Cuba

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With a half-billion dollars for Louisiana potentially on the line, the state agriculture commission is again pushing for trade with Cuba.

The call comes as the future of the US relations with the island nation is at a crossroads.

Former President Barack Obama used executive actions to open the door for trade, but President Donald Trump expressed concerns about Cuban human rights violations and threatened to roll things back.

Commissioner Mike Strain said Monday that he believes Trump is a businessman and can see the economic potential of trade with the island.

"We need to move forward, because at the end of the day, what would be the worst outcome if we do not?" Strain asked. "The worst outcome would be if another country, such as China, becomes the predominant player in that region. And we have to make sure that we are there and that we are involved and I think there is a path forward."

Strain estimates that if the embargo was lifted, Louisiana could one day do $500 million in trade with Cuba each year.

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