Author: Andrea Fernández Aponte
Earlier this month, the House and Senate named the conferees that will participate in this year’s Farm Bill conference. The conference, in which both House and Senate appointees negotiate the final version of the Farm Bill, will meet for the first (and, perhaps, only) time next Wednesday, September 5. This is our chance to support agricultural trade with Cuba and chip away at the outdated and irrational embargo!
This year, the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill included an amendment introduced by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s (D-ND) that would loosen trade restrictions by allowing U.S. farmers to use U.S. foreign market development and promotion dollars in Cuba. This amendment is part of a more comprehensive legislation project (S.275/HR.525) that would allow U.S. farmers to expand agricultural exports to Cuba by removing restrictions on private financing on food exports to the island.
This is a small but necessary step to turn the tide in favor of engagement with our island neighbor. We must make sure that these pivotal provisions remain on the final version!
If your senator or legislator appears in one of the lists below, they are one of this year’s appointed conferees. So we need YOU to put pressure on them to safeguard Sen. Heitkamp’s amendment. Please take 5 minutes to contact your legislators and urge them to support trade with Cuba!
Enter your zip code to find your representative’s and senators’ contact information. >>
Here’s what to say:
“Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [YOUR DISTRICT]. As [NAME OF LEGISLATOR]‘s constituent, I urge him/her to support the bipartisan Cuba trade provisions included in the 2018 Farm Bill. These provisions would remove some of the restrictions on agricultural trade with Cuba that are adversely affecting businesses in our state and limiting our freedom as citizens. What’s more, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that increased trade with Cuba will generate $690 million over the next ten years. I hope the Senator/Representative does the right thing and supports these provisions. Thank you!”
Once you call your members of Congress, urge your neighbors, friends, and family to make sure they speak up as well!
Below is the list of the conferees we’re targeting:
Thank you for your activism! Adelante.