WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on July 1 announced that the United States formally has agreed to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, setting the stage to reopen embassies in both countries for the first time in 54 years. The move was welcomed by Cargill, which long has advocated for the end of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba and was among the first companies to send food shipments to Cuba in 2002 under a humanitarian exemption. Cargill chairs the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba (USACC), a partnership of nearly 100 prominent U.S. agricultural associations, state groups and businesses committed to normalizing trade with Cuba.
“The lesson of the embargo is that shutting down the lines of communication and commerce isn't the most effective approach,” said David MacLennan, president and chief executive officer of Cargill. “It’s only by sharing the economic and social benefits of our society through open trade that the U.S. will have a productive relationship with Cuba.”