Arkansas’s governor returned from a trade mission with Cuba this week and on Friday urged Congress to ease financial and travel restrictions. In a session with reporters Governor Asa Hutchinson credited the Obama administration for opening doors to the communist nation but said future steps should come through Congress and not executive actions. He said expanding credit options is a first priority.
“We’re not competing with Brazil and Vietnam, they can offer credit terms. That’s the next step, Congress needs to equalize the field of operations for our businesses by allowing them to negotiate cash, credit, whatever they feel comfortable with and the level of risk they wish to take,” said Hutchinson.
The Republican governor said momentum is on the side of Arkansas rice, poultry, and pork being sold in Cuba in the coming months or years but he cautioned that legal barriers still remain. Hutchinson is the first American governor to visit Cuba since the US Embassy reopened in July.