PR newswire | National summit on Cuba
Free trade with Cuba could generate $50 billion and 900,000 jobs for the United States over a twenty year period, according to a forecast presented at the National Summit on Cuba on Friday by Dr. Tim Lynch, director of the Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis at Florida State University.
“It’s in everyone’s best interest to see free trade between the U.S. and Cuba,” said Lynch. This is good for America and good for Cuba.”
Lynch determined that Florida would stand to benefit more than any state for three reasons—a historic linkage to Cuba, Florida’s proximity to Cuba and large and growing Hispanic population.
“Florida could see as many as 112,000 new jobs over a 20 year period that would not otherwise exist in a variety of industry sectors,” said Lynch. “Where is a hungry nation like Cuba going to turn? It’s cheaper to ship from Florida to Cuba, especially from Tampa and Miami, than anywhere else.”
According to Lynch, Florida’s benefit from trade with Cuba over a period of 20 years would generate $3.8 billion in output in the following sectors:
* 77,700 jobs and $1.4 billion in services and tourism * 17,100 jobs and $328 million in agriculture * 10,000 jobs and $458 million in waterborne transport * 6,000 jobs and $600 million in information technology and telecommunications * 1,400 jobs and $92 million in railroads * 500 jobs and $23 million in manufacturing
According to Kirby Jones, president of Alamar Associates, U.S. agricultural sales to Cuba from 2001 through August 2004 exceeded $850 million. Jones said that U.S. agricultural sales to Cuba were $4.4 million in 2001, $177 million in 2002, $343.9 million in 2003 and $328 million through the end of August 2004. Jones also reported $70 million in freight and services paid to the U.S., primarily through Florida ports, from sales to Cuba from 2001 to 2004.
“Tremendous opportunities exist for Florida and Gulf Coast businesses interested in trade with Cuba,” said Antonio Zamora, director of the Florida-Cuba Business Council, one of the summit sponsors. “The Summit provided an opportunity for these businesses to learn about current trade opportunities, to analyze the effectiveness of trade and to seek ways to improve trade policy in the coming years.”
More than 30 speakers presented including: U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho); U.S. Representatives William Delahunt (D-MA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Butch Otter (R-ID); (Ret) General John Sheehan, former Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in charge of Guantanamo Bay during the last refugee crisis; Ambassador Pete Peterson, the first U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam and a former Florida Congressman; FC Stone, Crowley Liner Services, diplomats, chambers of commerce, and port authority representatives among other distinguished speakers. FOX National News Anchor Rita Cosby moderated the day’s program.
The National Summit on Cuba is cosponsored by the Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation, Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba, the Florida-Cuba Business Council and the World Policy Institute at New School University. Approximately 200 attendees from across the nation representing the private sector, and local, state, and federal governments attended the summit.
For a full summit agenda, please visit http://www.nationalsummitoncuba.org/
Contact: Dan Krassner
Cell: (727) 798-6222 National Summit on Cuba
Web site: http://www.nationalsummitoncuba.org