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Posted May 23, 2003 by publisher in Cuba-US Trade

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DES MOINES, Iowa—A delegation of Iowa business and agricultural leaders said Wednesday their trade mission to Cuba was a success.
The group met with Cuban leaders about future trade opportunities between Iowa and the small Caribbean country.

Rep. Leonard Boswell and Sec. of Agriculture Patty Judge led the delegation, which included representatives from 10 Iowa companies, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.

The group was able to sell more than $4 million worth of Iowa agricultural and food products to Cuba. That includes corn, dry distillers grain produced in a new ethanol plant, and Wells Blue Bunny ice cream. They also began serious negotiations for the import of Iowa pork and beef into Cuba.

“When we visit them move freely and our products flow in there it will be to their advantage as well,” Judge said.

Iowa is positioned to gain more than $70 million worth of food and agricultural exports to Cuba with these new agreements.

Officials with the Greater Des Moines Partnership also plan to head to Washington soon to plea for complete removal of the Cuba trade embargo.

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