H.R. 525 is too early | Writing | Food Newsie

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H.R. 525 is too early


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H.R. 525 is too early

When thinking about a humanitarian crisis, it’s important to know that there is nothing today, yesterday or tomorrow, standing in the way of American farmers providing assistance to Cuba anytime the need arises. Cuba has been reasonably wise in dealing with its resources and the natural limits and dangers imposed on any Caribbean island. Those natural limits are kept enough at bay to prevent dire circumstances but still put an enormous strain on even the greatest wisdom at work on answers to agricultural trade.

Sponsored by Rep. Crawford, Eric A. “Rick” [R-AR-1] and introduced January 13th, 2017, H.R. 525 seeks to let Cuba get agricultural imports from the United States without having to pay cash. Currently, Cuba’s agricultural imports from the USA are paid for in cash. Note, loads of countries, including the United States, receive all manner of imports without paying cash; they borrow and write IOU’s and trade. Also, loads of other countries export to Cuba without being paid cash like rice that Cuba gets from Vietnam, 9,951 miles away via the Panama Canal.

But 90 miles away, the situation is a lot different. And perhaps, it should stay different for a little while longer.

H.R. 525 is too early

USA receives 10% of a nearly 2 Billion dollar spending on the part of Cuba. That sounds like small potatoes but the 200-million to USA farmers is in cash, not IOU's. Cuba is 5 to 1 in import to export value putting them in a situation to borrow heavily.

It’s recorded that Cuba’s primary agricultural exports, sugar cane, citrus, coffee and tobacco, bring in about one-fifth the amount Cuba spends on agricultural imports. Much needed imports include fertilizer, beef, and tallow despite strong cooperatives and a very successful move to small farmers and organics elevated by a push for biodiversity in the 90’s. As far as the words on paper go, Cuba is actually a really good model for food production, sustainability and distribution in spite of the natural limitations. WIKI

Another feather in Cuba’s fedora is Moody’s promotion of the economy from ‘stable’ to ‘positive outlook’ shorthanded as Caa2 Source That’s more or less keeping company with El Salvador, Ukraine and Greece.

The current administration is working hard to cut all newly connected ties with Cuba set in place by the Obama administration. What little I understand of the new administration is that if it’s money you’re after, it’s all good. What’s curious about H.R. 525 is that if it’s waiting for Cuba to pay money owed for consumables consumed, it’s all good. What’s most promising for American farmers now is that Cuba is paying cash for American agricultural imports; money. So this paints a weird dilemma for an administration that seems to worry about losing cash to Cuba’s tourism appeal and its need to get money to American farmers.

H.R.525 cosponsors appeared immediately and are still tacking on as recently as June 6th. Cosponsors at congressGov

Root for food. Ag secretary, Sonny Perdue, is not in an easy spot. Thanks to the apparent global inconvenience that people need to eat and the promise to bring prosperity to American farmers, Secretary Perdue should be able to dismiss the idea of IOU’s from Cuba, encourage low-ball prices to get goods 90 miles out (how hard can it be to undercut rice from 9-thousand miles away?), reduce America’s grain food waste (you wouldn’t believe how terrifying it is) and develop and foster a cordial relationship with Cuba where more hungry American tourists would constitute a continued and growing demand for vegetables, beef and more tallow (that last one’s a little lost on me)… The long view against H.R. 525 is positive.

RealFoodForager.com says that beef tallow is good for high-heat cooking with it’s high smoke point and low radicals. It’s also good for strong bones with a super-punch of vitamin D and a great source of energy. Tallow is a rendered for of beef or mutton fat though not strictly defined as such.

Once we could hold American tourist dollars as leverage, then we could examine selling agriculture to Cuba for things other than cash. As it stands today, Cuba can borrow and does borrow from Europe and to the USA, they pay 200-million dollars for agriculture imports. There’s no preventing them from borrowing more and getting more from us. American farmers are not in a position to work for IOU’s. Let Cuba owe someone else; I say that with no malice. This administration’s odd short sight might accidentally snuff a great asset and partner that is so clearly a positive route to consider from the perspective of agriculture. So, root for food, but it’s too soon for H.R. 525.

Hey Sonny, good luck, Papi.

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