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 Embargoed for publication: Press contact:

Monday, January 28, 2002         Steven Goldstein cell (917) 449-8918


The embargo’s cost to farmers? Up to $1.24 billion annually.

Agriculture-related costs to the entire U.S. economy?

Up to $3.6 billion more annually.

Reagan and Clinton Ag Secretaries write President Bush today, saying the report shows necessity of lifting the embargo

Monday, January 28, 2002, Washington – The U.S. economy is losing up to $1.24 billion annually in agricultural exports because of the embargo against Cuba – and up to $3.6 billion more annually in related economic output. That’s the finding of a new report by two of America’s top agricultural economists, released today by the Cuba Policy Foundation, the Washington-based organization led by senior diplomats in Republican Administrations.

"If the embargo were lifted, the average American farmer would feel a difference in his or her life within two to three years," says the report’s co-author, C. Parr Rosson, professor of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University. The report, "Economic Impacts of U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba," was written by professor Rosson and his colleague at Texas A&M, Flynn Adcock.

Based on the report, two former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture, the Reagan Administration’s John Block and the Clinton Administration’s Dan Glickman, today wrote to President Bush: "Current U.S. policy has not given relief to the Cuban people. And now it's just as clear: Our policy is also harming American farmers during these tough economic times. Mr. President, the sooner we lift this failed embargo, the better."

Today’s report ranks all U.S. states from 1 to 50 in terms of the potential impact of the embargo on their respective agricultural sectors. The subcategories include annual potential agricultural exports, and additional potential economic output stemming from the new agricultural exports.

An overview chart of the top 20 states, with dollar estimates in both categories, is included in this press release. Charts of all 50 states in a whole range of categories – including by commodity – is in the report itself.

The top 20 states are, in order: #1 Arkansas, #2 California, #3 Iowa, #4 Louisiana, #5 Texas, #6 Illinois, #7 Mississippi, #8 Minnesota, #9 Nebraska, #10 Missouri, #11 Kansas, #12 North Dakota, #13 North Carolina, #14 Washington State, #15 Indiana, #16 Georgia, #17 Florida, #18 South Dakota, #19 Ohio and #20 Alabama.

"With the numbers in today’s report," said Ambassador Sally Grooms Cowal, president of the Cuba Policy Foundation, "I challenge the pro-embargo lobby to tell farmers that it’s right to make them bear the economic burden of a policy that has failed for 40 years. That argument won’t pass moral muster, and now it won’t pass political muster either – not when the farmers hurt most by the embargo are in states like California, Texas, Illinois and, of course, Iowa.

"Today’s report will accelerate the momentum on Capitol Hill, which is already significant, for changing U.S. policies toward Cuba," Ambassador Cowal said. "These numbers are an economic and political double-whammy of a kind that the pro-embargo lobby has never faced before."

The Cuba Policy Foundation, founded in early 2001, is a nonpartisan, decidedly centrist organization led by senior diplomats in Republican Administrations. The Cuba Policy Foundation believes changing U.S. policies toward Cuba would be in America’s national and economic interests, and would bring democratic reform to Cuba at last.

The president of the Cuba Policy Foundation, Ambassador Sally Grooms Cowal, spent 23 years in the U.S. Foreign Service working for a series of pro-embargo Republican presidents, beginning with President Nixon. She rose to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America under first President Bush, who later appointed her Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. The chairman of the board of the Cuba Policy Foundation is William D. Rogers, Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America and Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs under President Ford.




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