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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 8, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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to strengthen wall street at the expense of main street the reality is just the reverse .. protect us against wall street. let me explain what i mean. derivatives -- and i'm reading right now from a summary of the house bill, which is the version of the language we're going to be voting on today and i will be reading some and summarizing some. but derivatives are contracts whose value is linked to changes in another variable, such as the price of a physical commodity. my colleague from ohio, senator brown, referenced delta airlines who buys contracts for fuel for their airplanes and they do this in order to hedge the risk on the price of fuel, and it's a critical part of their risk management for their business. other businesses, farmers in
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idaho hedge their risks in their farming and ranching opportunities in the same way by trying to make sure that they have protected the price of certain commodities that they need to utilize in the conduct of theirins. by making sure they have protected certain commodities. derivatives have historically been used by businesses. and everything and between to manage the risk of their businesses. end-users trading derivatives to hedge business and economic risk and it is important to understand. overtime derivatives of ground and the use of investment in derivatives has grown. instead of just end-users trying to manage risk and community -- commodities for their products and physical needs many derivatives in
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fact, probably most -- more than the majority of the derivatives that are invested in today are no longer based upon a physical commodity but are links to variables like interest rates or stock prices or currency valuations or other factors like that. the market has moved into areas similar to investment in the stock market. because of that .frank sought to -- and one of those problems was a big problem in the financial collapse. so .-dot frank tried to address the abuse that was found, but it was never intended to deal with the original utilization of derivatives by end-users
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again as i said earlier those who produce a product like a farmer or those who utilize derivatives and their business to hedge business risk and economic risk as opposed to those who invest for speculation in the market and that distinction was important. i was on the community when we discussed this. everyone, literally all of us including the two sponsors of the bill agreed that end-users were not intended. in fact it was put into a letter. this is senator dodd's language.
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the legislation the legislation does not authorize legislators to impose margins on end-users. those exempt entities that use swaps to hedge risk. if they raise the cost it may create more risk. i am still quoting senator dodd. it is imperative they do not unnecessarily debord working capitol from the economy into margin accounts in a way that would impair economic growth. it was not not the intent, although it was a concern at the time. i don't have the language in front of me, but rep. frank has made similar comments that it was not intended for this to be covered by legislation and now the regulators in hearings
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before the banking committee have uniformly told us that they feel that their hands are tied and following the language of dodd frank, they have to start imposing margin requirements on end-users which we will cause the kind of economic, discussed earlier. so it so it is necessary for congress to respond and clarify this exemption exists for end-users in our financial system. before i move on to that let me go back and give a couple of examples. hearings are been held multiple times on this issue. we issue. we have not been able to get hearings in the senate on this issue, but it does not mean it has not been raised. i personally bought an amendment to make this part
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of the law and was stopped by the then majority said they would not allow a vote for a hearing on the issue. it is true we have not been able to engage in hearings or votes in the senate but it is not true that we have not been engaging in trying to get to this issue in the senate. in the house -- and i want to quote a couple of examples of testimony in the house. this first one is from the ceo of ball corporation -- excuse me, miller course. craig reiners said, miller course uses derivatives for the sole purpose of reducing commercial risk with our business. we brew beer, and our commitment to customers is
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to produce the best beer and in the united states and to deliver it at a competitive price. we must find a way to mitigate and prudently manage our inherent commodity risk. this is what end-users do. the other example is ball corporation, a supplier of metal and packaging to the supplier and food industry. the cfo stated stated, a requirement for end-users to post margin would have a a serious impact on our ability to invest in. $150,000. tying up capitol to put that
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at risk. the impact the impact of posting initial margin could easily exceed 100 million while the change in value on trade overtime could easily surpass 300 million which would have a direct a direct and adverse impact on our ability to grow business and maintain jobs. again, my. the end-user exemption musters think between those who invest in order to control and hedge risk in business to make critical distinction. imposing margin requirements will have negative economic effects, not positive
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stabilizing effects. having said having said that, i want to move forward going back to the house report. they do not pose a systemic risk. furthermore forcing end-users to post margin could cause harmful excess. unavailable for investment and jobs in expansion. payne street the street, the very arena where we need capitol formation in the kind of growth and economy that would cause.
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now these examples are companies who were doing hundreds of millions of dollars. this was not just small businesses, ranchers, farmers, others farmers others all utilize this in order to hedge their commodity risk their business risk in our economy. and i just want to enforce the.and make it clear that this is something that was never intended to be in law but regulators have said that they have to do in hearings before the senate banking committee i have asked regulators which reminds me we have had testimony on this issue. they have told us that they
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believe this is a prudent fix. regulators are telling us that they have to issue regulations they do not feel are prudent. we have roads being regulated as end-users pleading from reay to correct that problem. i encourage all senators to recognize the critical need to move forward rapidly on fixing this end user exemption just as we need to move forward rapidly on reauthorizing tria and on passing the narab legislation. and with that, madam president i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you madam president. senator coats, i will be no more
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than three minutes. i want to issue a short response to my friend from idaho that the issue here is more about process than substance. we have slight disagreement on substance partly from the delta issue. i understand farmer and rancher in idaho and the farmer in idaho and the importance of managing risks. i was amused about the issue he raised about manufacturers. those same manufacturers who came in front of our committee that produce beer or soft drinks that were paying more for their metals for their aluminum cans because of the overreach in commodities from some wall street firms. but this is not the time to debate that. the issue is really the process of this change, madam president that i was p t the process of this change, madam president i was part of legislation. it was a lengthy process.
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our efforts were supported. it was a slight change one that we did cautiously brought in sheila barrow worked with her, collins. the compromise of hearings in both houses and the senate banking committee. we eventually came to that agreement. and then we come=ñúj madam president, for senator coats -- before senator coats steps up and gives his comments, the lesson here is let's do this in the future the way we did
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collins-brown-johanns last year and do this right so all sides can be represented, we come to compromise the bill, stand-alone bill goes to the president. that's the way this should have been done. iesm hopeful that's the -- i'm hopeful that's the way it will be done in the future. i yield the floor to senator crapo. mr. crapo: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from idaho. mr. crapo: i yield 15 minutes or as much time as he may consume to senator coats. the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. mr. coats: thank you madam president. i very much appreciate the comments that have been made here and tend to support the legislation that is before us. however, i would like to just make a few i support the legislation but would like to make a few
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remarks in the support of the new congress and senate. the opportunity to reverse course. i am hopeful, optimistic. i am hopeful and optimistic that all of us will be able to work together to achieve serious and positive results of the issues that we face. we must put behind us those dreams and failing to successfully put forward legislation that addresses the problems that we face threats to security including radical extremism
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terrorists like those responsible for the attacks yesterday. any number of foreign policy issues that security. many of the administration's responses have fallen short of what is needed. addressing these issues and protecting our homeland is paramount and congress has an important role to play. i i want those i represents to know i will fully engage. here in the home front the 114th congress must be about legislation that sets conditions for economic
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growth. i consistently hear from folks back home that washington needs to focus on an economic climate that encourages economic growth and opportunity for all who seek to work. we have staggered through a difficult time. i believe personally that the policies of this administration have not addressed this problem. these concerns must be addressed now and there are several areas where republicans can work with the president and our colleagues to grow our economy is the president is willing to work with us. items that we we will take
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up shortly. the president has issued a slap in the face to those of us. that has been cleared over six years. it has been resisted over and over with more and more feeble excuses. repealing repealing the excise tax again, something with significant bipartisan support the vote for the repeal of this egregious tax which has hampered growth of one of the most dynamic industries in our country, high-paying country high-paying technical jobs
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which put people back to work. forming a federal regulations that businesses tell me keep him from hiring and growing and reforming tax codes, a few of the major issues that have bipartisan support need to be addressed, can be addressed and have bipartisan support in a way to bring forward meaningful legislation. hopefully the president will join us. there are many other issues that the 114th congress must tackle. the majority the majority of small business says the obama care healthcare plan has reduced practice causing many of them to freeze or cut worker wages or reduce benefits. this survey of firms the
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constant flow of e-mails and letters i have received to have seen their cost rise because of obama care. not a penny, he said, you can take it to the bank. the cost of health care we will not rise. that has not been the case. we have seen egregious increases in premiums. with a divided federal government we have no other option but to work together on responsible legislative solutions to grow our economy tackle the debt and deficit. that is the challenge before
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us what the american people want us to address the result of going to the polls in november demonstrating what they would like us to do. i look forward to getting back to work and trust my colleagues will join in that effort. it. madam president, with that i think my colleague for the time and yield back whatever time may be remaining. >> madam president. >> the sen. from idaho. >> ideals my time. >> the senator from nevada. >> thank you madam president. i want to thank my friend from idaho for his hard work and effort on behalf of all of america on issues like this.
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i think his efforts to educate our conference and those on both sides of the aisle speaks volumes. as a member of the banking committee and co-author of the senate treaty reauthorization bill this is a critical bill i have worked on closely. whether north, south, east, west trying to get an extension. los angeles new york chicago bigger cities. i said this before and will say it again. southern nevada welcomes 40 million visitors annually thirty-five major hotels
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along the strip many of which have 15,000 occupants. our entire state economy would be devastated. in fact, in northern nevada this includes the city of reno access to affordable coverage difficulty starting new capital projects and creating new jobs. many hotels, hospitals shopping centers, universities and i want that to continue. i i was disappointed we could not reach an agreement and i'm pleased this legislation has been brought
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to the floor so quickly by the majority leader. if i i can repeat that, 416 members of the house i strongly support this bill and urge my colleagues to support the passage of this bill today. with that madam president, i yield. >> after this debate the senate voted on a program that expired at the end of last year. extending the program for six years. the legislation has passed the house of representatives and now is waiting for pres. president obama's signature. on the other side of the capitol today on the house floor about why she opposes president obama's plans to normalize us relations with cuba. >> thank you so much,
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mr. speaker. the recent concession by pres. obama mark a drastic the parts are from one of the most consistent tenants of the united states foreign-policy and traditional american values and sets a dangerous a dangerous precedent for other regimes to emulate. the pardoning of convicted cuban spies follows an ill-advised exchange with the taliban and in which they have been unnervingly similar. making the united states more vulnerable. we see those repercussions manifest themselves across the globe. just recently they jumped at the opportunity to request an exchange of a convicted criminal jailed in
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venezuela. this is not the way to protect interest but a way of putting them in jeopardy. when we equate unjustly imprisoned americans to battle hardened terrorists or dangerous spies we set a dangerous precedent. on december 3013 days after pres. obama's announcement the cuban regime arrested nearly 60 activists seeking to express themselves freely in addition to the arrest of more than 200 activists on cuban rights day that's rich. yet the administration proudly and openly touts the promise that yet unproven
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release of 53 dissidents as a major breakthrough when in reality it would mean hundreds more. table 353 and arrest 60 more. there is no intention to move in the direction of reform our freedom. pres. obama president obama has created an atmosphere that emboldens the regime. not only poses a threat to the people. it has not changed his terrorist ways. causing another dangerous regime to evade security
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council resolutions and sanctions to shipping arms at a time when many in congress and the white house are trying to punish for vibrant attacks. we cannot forget that those regimes helped those like the ones in cuba. spies harboring fugitives. harboring puerto rican terrorists and many others have fled us justice. a few of the reasons why the administration must re-examine its relationship and imposed sanctions.
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the castro regime cannot change is anti- freedom terrorist ways. it is our freedom to be a voice. we have have disappointed people all over the world who are struggling to achieve freedom. the white house has betrayed core principles, the respect of human life. as the first cuban born member of congress i will fight tooth and nail to ensure the cost of freedom and democracy in cuba is not forgotten. until the regime has been
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replaced by a representative democracy like the one we have here i have a moral obligation to freedom loving people everywhere and will not ever forget that responsibility. thank you, mr. speaker, for the time. >> a group of american food and agriculture companies have launched a coalition to seek an end to the us embargo. the group hosted a forum to date with members of congress from both sides of the aisle. agriculture secretary vilsack and representatives from the food and agricultural industries. this is an hour and 20 minutes. >> it is cold outside, but warm in here. good afternoon and welcome to the public launch of the us coalition for cuba.
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we represent a broad cross-section of the community. our current is listed in a charter we just released a few minutes ago. we are especially pleased to see such a robust turnout. we believe it is indicative not only of the policy imperative that the moral imperative in front of us as an industry and country. we are pleased to see important bipartisan support we are pleased to see secretary tom vilsack and others here today. governor next and we appreciate we
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opening channels so that we could have free flow. we are reenergized to establish cuba as a market for products and are energized to advance the end of the embargo. we would like to offer high-quality affordable, safe food to cuban citizens.
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the experiment has gone on too long a failed policy in time we offer our two countries a better option. commercial engagement can and will promote positive change beyond the isolationism that currently plays a relationship. advancing constructive dialogue in the united states we are actively engaged, will work with key stakeholders take public platforms and liberalize trade. a tried and true policy creating opportunity for citizens on both sides. "it's worked to engage in the economy and power business raise income and
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lead to stability. we recognize we recognize past difficulties, but what we no we can collectively own is the future of relations and understand it is about peace and prosperity for our citizens and the latin american region. i would like to introduce paul johnson. he has been dedicated to this issue for quite some time. >> good afternoon. my name is paul johnson. in the past 20 years i have either lived, worked, or studied in cuba and have
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found there is a powerful movement for normalizing trade coming from grassroots, particularly farmers. farmers from california minnesota, kansas alabama virginia, iowa support normalizing trade. we unanimously passed calling for normalizing relations and believe improved trade strengthens wives. we want to expand into new markets and be competitive and recognize competition from brazil the eu canada, or china will not fade. we will work with congress
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to ultimately add jobs for farmers truck drivers port workers, financial service providers. making products competitive requires reducing cuban costs. exporting credit to banking which we will reduce logistical cost. we need true trade import and export. in conclusion the embargo has not served the interest. we believe that we can look forward to working with dc and havana.
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our message is us strength and cuban sovereignty is more powerful than the embargo. >> if you feel inclined to clap, you are more than welcome. [applause] it is quite an honor to introduce you. when the announcement came out you were the first one to mention the importance of this announcement. please, with no further ado, the secretary of agriculture. [applause] >> it's an honor to be here with my good friend governor next.
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i am honored to be here today among so many of the nation's agricultural leaders of advancing the interests of american agriculture here and abroad. particularly as we look back on 2014 the efforts of leaders in this room and others have produced real results. exports topped $152 billion a record high. the new farm bill has been implemented in record time
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and contains strong investment to continue the tools that support american agriculture allowing farmers and ranchers to continue to profit. today we gather to discuss an expanded opportunity to american agriculture for farmers and ranchers allowing them to do business expand business opportunity in a country 90 miles from our border. policy changes announced by president obama in mid-december broke with a failed approach that have isolated us from the rest of the hemisphere and isolated ordinary cubans from the outside world aimed at giving cuban citizens new opportunities to gain greater control over their own lives and help to significantly expand opportunities for americans to sell goods in cuba. removing removing technical barriers and creating a far more efficient and less burdensome opportunity for cuba.
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these changes will help make products far more price competitive and will expand choices for cuban shoppers at grocery stores and create a customer base for farmers and ranchers. importing about 80% of its food which means there is significant economic potential. it is a $1.7 billion market. they all have opportunity in this new day. historically agricultural goods
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serving as ambassadors. no doubt that agricultural
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play the expand our relationship. let me add as a personal note. during the course of the opportunity and the visit of the us. it was in a losing opposition. as we increase opportunity there we will be serious questions about the system and why they cannot create enormous opportunities. i am pleased the coalition will help foster continued
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cooperation. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, secretary tom vilsack. one of the first calls i received was from governor nixon's office. today you have with you a governor who is willing to lead and we are looking forward to your message on the importance and how you plan to build bipartisan support to make sure we are telling the story here in washington. thank you. [applause]
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>> good afternoon. i specifically want to thank the secretary. he has been helpful. we have had opportunities. traveling with me today is richard fordyce. we are excited to be with this group of leaders, and i am proud to be here representing missouri and states around the country who stand ready to seize the tremendous opportunity to strengthen families and create jobs for expanded trade farmers and ranchers are truly feeding fueling and clothing the world.
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we exported more than 2.2 billion and agricultural products. we are arguably the most diverse corn soybean to cotton, cattle. we are moving up quickly. i have seen a tremendous demand for the product and that that it can have. we have been to china brazil taiwan korea and québec signing trade agreements to sign agreements.
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a significant portion have been foreign province to our state direct state to state matters dealing with the governors, provincial leaders in those areas. compatriots on that side it is a place where a significant amount of trade can be done. given the opportunity to compete we feel like we can win against anyone. for more goods we sell overseas the more jobs we create back at home. we are not on a level playing field. it greatly limits our ability to sell goods and
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prevents us from bringing more dollars home. other countries are stepping up to fill the void. brazil alone has quadrupled its exports to cuba. we are prepared to compete in that zone given a level playing field. we cannot ignore 11 million customers 90 miles from our country. the fine folks are ready to step up and lead the way. corn, soybeans rice pork, and other products. we will do the best we can to be the first state and i
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will work with other governors to work together. i respectfully call on members of congress to support the free market and this outstanding opportunity to strengthen our economy at home. now is the time to follow through and remove financial restrictions lifting the embargo. this is an extremely bipartisan issue and i am glad to see it here. rest well assured, it is extremely bipartisan. we have been presented an historic opportunity. we must not and will not let
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it pass us by. we are ready to compete to open up, expand markets, and grow our economy. [applause] >> we have to roll with the punches. because of the arrival of elected officials we may go a bit out of order. he is from the 20th district of california. what you may not no is i hail from your district and was educated at the high school and hail from the industry ever sense. you have been a strong leader for us agriculture as
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a whole. it is my great honor, sir. [applause] >> thank you very much. there is a knew office someone may be qualified to run for. i am excited by what is happening. this will be one of the great modern events of america. the iron wall about six or seven times. in almost all night dinner with fidel castro. it was a monologue and an interesting one.
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winegrowers giving him wonderful california wine which he insisted could not be as good as spanish wine because that is what they had in cuba. i traveled all over the wonderful thousand i'll to 5,000-mile island with constituents been to the conferences on drug trade where i i was met by our liaison in the coast guard. they asked me to come as a member of congress because the united states just was not present, and we should be. our allies were their.
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over and over again americans have been missing in so many ways because with the embargo. illegitimate and honest player. let's find out. there are all of these bars against it. he made these amendments empowered to lift restrictions as we have against cuba. we are going to have to change the law and lift restrictions. it is not going to be easy or difficult. the politics of it will emulate from the
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agricultural state. governors who have been with the delegation have seen firsthand there is opportunity for market for our state to not only send products but intellectual capacities, technical loads students constituency, develop what is normally the opportunities that exist when you can travel freely. it will not be easy. i think politics will be difficult but their politics to create a free enterprise market they needed most of all in food. people that have a can-do attitude they love americans despite the
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embargoes that have made it difficult for their lifestyle. and what i see is they live in poverty. water and light and power. the culture of poverty as we no it in light and power that is not the problem. it is it is not a culture of poverty but one of hunger. they do not have the food. they cannot produce it on the island. purchasing power is weak. they cannot buy and grow the food. they know what they want. fidel castro asked the head of our chicken federation
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what is the content of the food you feed your chickens? he said well, i am a lobbyist. and he said, how can you represent and if you don't no what they eat. the.of it is, they no what they need. need. they just cannot get access and we have not allowed them because of financial prohibitions against spending money their having to pay for it in dollars in advance. that is not done in any other trade negotiation in the world. every other country in this hemisphere has diplomatic and trade relations with cuba.
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every one of them. there was not a president that did not chastise the united states for having archaic policies that did not allow cuba to join. now that we we will he we will be welcomed as a hero because we we will be able to unify the entire hemisphere. you think it is a small island but bringing in 7 million people and make them like the rest it is not every type of agriculture. every single thing is grown in this semester. we have more ability for producing than any other in the world solar wind,
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hydro oil you name it. every possibility of producing energy exists. if we could unify this hemisphere and that is what these presidents are talking about we would not need to drop of oil from any other part of the world. we have no wars. the entire hemisphere can speak in three languages. a little bit of french. the opportunity to unify and opening up these new -- tourism is the most asked question. i even have close professional friends say if
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i go illegally like to talk? i say probably not. here is how you do it. i think the battle is going to be in congress because you have a small minority of interests who can go to cuba without a license. they can send money to relatives. you cannot. relatives in cuba can invest. we cannot. there is an interest a conflict of interest to members of the house and senate to restrict others giving privileges that they now have. but it is going to be a
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fight. the conservative viewpoint is going to be the politics will be motivated by the arab culture interests. agricultural interests already no. and they we will have the pressure members to follow through on being able to implement this incredible announcement of the president. ..
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to we had a lot of policies. it's very difficult to move it because leadership in congress were adamantly opposed to do anything. we were in key positions and could use procedural blocks. those things will still be possible but you can overcome them by the will of the people and the politics of america. this is grassroots politics. if the american people want to go to keep an business they want to do business in cuba they are going to have to use their political voices to show members of congress that indeed we ought to follow through in legislating accordingly. so thank you very much and this
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ag coalition is actually -- absolutely essential in making a policy work. that in the financial institutions that have an interest in opening up credit and business exchanges and being able to use credit cards in cuba and things like that will be the two most motivating forces to change american policy at the congressional level. so congratulations on this new year and this exciting new assignment that i think is going to make it worthwhile to serve both in congress and to report it very well in the press. thank you. [applause] >> congressman you hail from a state that produces over three to 50 agricultural crops so certainly your words are quite important to the agricultural economy in california. our next speaker is representative cap and cramer from north dakota. mr. cramer here you are.
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thank you very much. we are absolutely honored by your presence today and very much looking forward to your message to share with the u.s. ncc. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. as a means of introduction let me start out by saying this is a big week for me and at this moment it has doubled in importance as a lookout among you. carrying the keystone xl price -- pipelined with my name on it is a big deal. i have to admit. it's easier to talk about things like the pipelines with my background in bakken dakota but this is different. it's also a big week of course because my friend rodney davidson is here as well and represents the congressional district in illinois that is home to illinois state university the football team that's going to lose to north
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dakota state university saturday in the championship game but that's another matter altogether. so it's a big week. you know i don't really know frankly how i ended up but i suspect it has something to do with the fact that among the initial choir the initial pushback from republican members of congress to the president's idea one voice out of north dakota saying i don't know it doesn't seem that to me. [laughter] so here i am. and actually prior to being an energy regulator nd i did have a great honor of serving eight years in the cap of governor ed schafer. i was his tourism director for four years. today i walk around washington and south dakota. [laughter] but i spent the second term as the director of economic development and finance and i
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became very close. when ed told me he was moving me over we should call the secretary here should we? from tourism to economic development and finance i said governor what i know about financing could fit into a small thimble. he said i understand that. thank you very much for your confidence but he said we don't need a banker. we need a marketer. we need someone who understands markets, someone who understands how to sell a product, sell an idea and so that was my training before becoming a regulator. the reality is is that while north dakota is represented in this room and certainly represented by your coalition congratulations on forming it. it's a fantastic idea. as you know this town moves based on good information presented to members of congress and more importantly strong
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persuasion from the people that elect the members of congress. and you all know how to do that with the coalition. i think sam summed it up quite nicely but frankly what moves me and what motivates me and would cause me to come out so early with support for the idea of trading with our neighbors 90 miles off of our coast in normalizing relations to the degree that we should and can and ought to and we will talk about that, it's not so much about the peas and the lentils and beans in the corn in and wheat in the durham and the potatoes that we grow in north dakota. we have had a week of overstating issues on all sides. is cuba a big market compared to china? no but it is 11 million people. it's 90 miles away and people
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that are already inclined to want to be like us to the point that someone wants to be us that's pretty cool. we have a running head start geographically intellectually, culturally. we have an opportunity that should not be squandered to spread liberty, to spread democracy and to sell products. we have to look out for something for sure. nobody is naïve enough to think we are going to open it wide open and we will be the only beneficiaries. north dakota also grows sugar beets. we are very familiar with the importance of fair free trade in the north american continent in our hemisphere and the importance of what happens when it's not adhered to by our partners. we need to keep all the protections in place as well and that is why i think this is a heavy lift. that's why i think incrementally we can make the case to our colleagues based on the spread
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of democracy and opportunities for our farmers as well as others, manufactures intellectual developers who knows? imagine the infrastructure opportunities that may be water pumpers in north dakota and texas might have in a place like cuba as they rebuild and built to meet the demands of the current as the last one. there's no into those opportunities in my view but we have to have a relationship. we can do with a short leash. we can test incrementally. we can open it up little by little and provide assurances to colleagues of ours in the house and the senate that might not be inclined to go all in. i get it but i have learned in short time in congress that persuasion does not happen quickly. almost nothing happens quickly. almost nothing happens. [laughter] but that's another issue altogether.
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so my advice besides congratulating u.n. encouraging you and going to great enthusiasm as you go into it go into this whole issue of your group along with the coalition of congressional supporters. go into it with us arm in arm with good advice back and forth to provide political encouragement and political cover when necessary. that's part of our work and then to of course help us be persuaded and be persuaders. you do that best by providing information and grassroots backing. without thank you for the opportunity. it's an honor to be with you in honor certainly to be with my colleagues. thank you. [applause] >> congressman cramer reminded me of actually a compelling point to it that the u.s. and cuba are members of the world trade organization.
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cuba offers most favored nation status to every other wto member so even if we do begin to loosen restrictions it's actually going to take our ability to get permanent normal trade relations normalizing the trade relationship to get us on equal footing. at the moment every other wto members getting preferential access to that market. thank you very much congressman cramer and at this point i would like to welcome congressman rodney davis from illinois. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. i'm glad my colleague from north dakota still here today. i have to differ with his opinion on what's going to happen at the national championship game this year. what he didn't tell you is he's actually going to provide me with -- once my red birds beat his north dakota state bison so thank you kevin. it's an honor for me to be here
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but i'm here because of a prism of experiences that i have had because i had a chance to travel to cuba. in 2005 i was a staffer for another member of congress. i went to cuba and i saw the conditions that people live in. many who oppose agree with me that i along with them don't want to see the castro regime continue. i want to see communism with tipping cuba so the cuban people can experience the same freedoms that we experience here in the united states of america. we just differ on how to go about doing that. from my personal experience coming from an agricultural state like illinois i believe opening more trade with agricultural products hopefully most of them from illinois and then the rest of the states like
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north dakota and others. i believe increasing the trade that we are to have is going to allow america to invest in a cuban economy that's going to free the cuban citizens from the conditions they live under now. the district i represent central alumni has a very rich tradition in agriculture. from agricultural manufactures like gsi in assumption alumni food processors like craft in champaign or our farm progress show in decatur illinois, agriculture makes my district economy run. i have also seen first-hand how manufacturing jobs in my district are supported through trade. i'm somebody who has long before the president announced his perspective changes in policy with cuba have abdicated for more normalized trade relations with the cuban people.
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and so his actions did not get me here today to talk about this issue and frankly i am not somebody who supports trading prisoners in regards to further ideas. while i am ecstatic that mr. rose is home i am not ecstatic that this administration decided to release others to make that happen. frankly i think that could encourage more americans being used as collateral. i do not think that was a good idea. but long before that happened i think the cuban people will only experience freedom through american investment and american investment is what we have an opportunity to put forth. illinois agricultural products are essential to this trade and these opportunities.
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illinois is the number one producer of soybeans. illinois number two in my birthplace iowa in corn production and illinois farmers are responsible for 8.3 billion in total ag exports. in my state my district relies upon trade relations to actually sell our products and create our jobs and feed the rest of the world. but we can't compete with competitors like brazil argentina and europe under the current policy conditions and that is why i'm standing here today to hopefully see those remedied. by improving trade relations and integrating cube into the global economy and linking them again to the american economy cuban citizens will have the opportunities that i saw first-hand they need. after 54 years i think the new approach is needed and that is why i stand here in favor of increasing trade relations with our cuban friends, the cuban
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citizens and our friends. by releasing the cuban people from their isolation and opening their country to our ideas and our products the castro regime will no longer be able to use the united states as a scapegoat for the failed policies. i thank everyone for being here today and i appreciate your support for this idea and i wish everyone success in the future and opening up opportunities for all americans to help the cuban citizens with free trade. thank you. [applause] >> congressman davis thank you for your bold leadership and your words of wisdom. next we will hear from a longtime supporter of u.s. agriculture as it relates to cuba, senator moran we know you are not here just for today.
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you are here for a history of leadership on this issue and we welcome your leadership and we are looking forward to hearing what you have to say. >> thank you all very much for the chance to be here and to visit briefly about this issue. i was somewhat offended by your emphasis on the words long time but it actually is the year 2000 so nearly 15 years ago we offered a successful amendment on the house floor carving out an exception for mood -- food medicine for the embargo and it was a very contentious circumstance with lots of discouragement by some in charge from offering that amendment and i remember the outcome of that vote 301-116. 301 house members to 11660 house members it it's time for a change in the policy with our country's relationship to cuba. a majority of democrats in a
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majority of republicans both said that day that it's time to do something different. in kansas and i have said this on the house floor previously come in kansas we will try something once and we don't always expected to be successful a first time. we might try a second time and maybe even a third time but i will tell you kansans are smart enough to know that after trying something for 54 years you ought to try something different. if the goal of u.s. policy is to change the nature of cuban citizens relationship with their government what we have been doing has not worked. it's not surprising it hasn't worked because its unilateral sanctions. when we don't sell agricultural commodities manufactured goods when we don't trade with cuba is not that they are not getting agricultural commodities are manufactured good. it's just that they are buying them from someone else. kansans and americans are smart enough to know that when you are there by yourself all you are
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doing is harming yourself and of course in the state like ours and we can go through the litany of agricultural commodities we are produced. the list is long but when we is not sold to keep its not that they are not buying wheat. it's that they are being purchased from some other place our competitors. generally canada the european union. we are a national supplier of agricultural supplies to cuba. the cost of transportation from europe to cuba has about $25 a ton. the cost from a port in the united states or its six or $7 a $7 a ton. as a natural opportunity and we have to be taken advantage that. i have been asked this issue for nearly 15 years. i will admit to taking a leave of absence for the last couple of years. i announced in the appropriations committee after previously offering the amendment that was successful in the appropriations committee trade two years ago i said i am done until allen gross is
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released and i am pleased to know that has occurred and i am pleased to reengage in an active way in this issue to see that one there are no more allen gross' held in captivity in cuba but the commonsense change in policy by the united states is something that congress and any administration ought to embrace. [applause] it just makes sense. so we are at work. i started on this issue i would guess in the self-interest of american agriculture, particularly kansas agriculture and i would say during the time we have engaged in this topic became clear to me that something even more noble than the trading relationship, that selling opportunities about changing the opportunities to cubans have in relationship to their their government. i happen to believe that a growing economy a greater standard of living creates the
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opportunity for the cuban government that otherwise they would be trying to figure out how to put food on their families tables. if we can't have that economic relationship and americans can travel to cuba, if cubans can come to the united states as my colleague, former colleagues in the house indicated this morning there's a noble calling and trying to make the world a better place for all citizens of the world including those who live in cuba. common sense says we have to do this and in fact our morality says we ought to do this. let's make the difference. let's make the change and i think is this is a congress that has the ability to do that. i would first encourage the treasury department to alter their regulations redefined when the cash upfront has to be delivered remind them that they can do that without congressional authorization. i would encourage them to go out and change the regulations back to the way they were for several years in which a bank can issue
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a letter of credit and let's begin this process of developing that economic opportunity for american agriculture with cuba today and then members of congress will work on the broader issues of how we alter the statutory provisions related to the embargo. appreciate the folks that are here today and it's an honor to be here with my colleague senator klobuchar and i look forward to working with her and others to make certain good commonsense policies prevailed and american agriculture causes our dance and there's greater prosperity on farms across the country in the cuban people have a better shot at a better life. thank you very much. [applause] >> good common sense and morality are drivers. we certainly appreciate the words of senator moran. our next and last speaker from
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the hill is senator klobuchar. senator we know you to be one of the most thoughtful policy people on the hill. you weigh the complexities of an issue, you think about all sides and all stakeholders and you put good policy in front of politics and party and we really appreciate your bipartisanship in your support on this. we also know that in 2010 you were a leader in sponsoring a bill to advance trade relations with cuba. so this is a natural fit for you and we appreciate that you are here to show your leadership. thank you. >> are right, the last speaker. what is it that they say in washington? everything said -- everyone said everything but not me or something like that. i'm excited to be here. we finally had her last book of the day so time to get to work on some of these really important issues and i appreciated what senator moran said as well as the other people
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that were here. i think you see this as a bipartisan issue with a lot of support and it's moving forward. i want to acknowledge representatives here from minnesota. cargo which is the country's largest private company is one of the sponsors here and one of the reasons minnesota-based companies that are in employment in our state is down to 3.7%. why is that? it's a lot because of exports. it's a lot because of agriculture production. we are number three for sweet corn, number two for hogs and number one for turkeys. if fact to remember for the weekend. i have spent my day hearing people complaining about the weather in washington today. i think it's 20 date degrees. tomorrow in minnesota is going to be 33 degrees below windchill so the minnesotans are here to bask in the sun.
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we think it's very warm here. i also appreciate all the work that's gone on with the administration and all the businesses and agricultural interests as for so long have been advocating for change in policy. i can tell you i see the strength of exports in our state state. i sought throughout the downturn where we kept her head above water and it was a lot because of the fact that we have companies from medtronic to 3m to cargill that believe in the global market and believe it means jobs in america. we see cuba as a market of 11 million people, 11 million new customers that can buy american products and to me that means jobs in america. american agriculture has been at the forefront of advocating for commonsense policy changes that would promote commerce with cuba and revive a relationship between cuba and america which everyone in this room has now heard has been cut off for 50
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years. this past week in the "minneapolis star tribune" featured a story of lawrence of fairmont minnesota. he is one of three farmers who traveled to havana and 2002 to watch the arrival of the first u.s. grain shipment to cuba in 40 years. despite that commercial opening over a decade ago we have not made the kind of progress that we should make. agricultural experts -- exports grew to nearly $7 million in 2008 but they sank below 300 million last year. export and travel restrictions have continued to hobble growth in the market and the embargo prevented cubans from obtaining food that we take for granted in our country. as cuban rights activists iolani sanchez has written its impossible for cubans to buy staples like eggs or cooking oil
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without turning to the underground market forcing people to stand in line for hours for things like poultry and fish. the cuban government's 50th anniversary in 2009 provided families with an extra half pound of ground beef that beef was not u.s. beef. it actually was the event sponsored by the venezuelan government. so i say it's time that america stops credit for the sale of hamburger to cuba. today we have begun a path that i think is the right path. the process the president has jumpstarted to normalize their ties with cuba is a positive step forward. increasing traveling commerce between our countries will create new economic opportunities for american farmers and businesses and is mentioned will help improve the quality of life in cuba. 11 million people. that is a big market for
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american goods and american jobs. like the members of congress here that is spoken today i have long advocated for modernizing a relationship with cuba. i lead a bipartisan bill to lift the travel ban and make it easier to finance exports to cuba. the bill was led in the house by ranking chair collin peterson. my home state of minnesota as i have mentioned exported 20 million in products to cuba in 2013. with the president's action alone the minnesota department of agriculture estimates exports could increase by another 20 million. increasing agriculture experts in promoting normal commercial relations with cuba will also help ensure that cubans can provide for their families. it will reduce the fear that comes with struggling to just get by. the growing community of cubans small farmers need advice and
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assistance to aid in the transition from the large state owned agriculture enterprises to a more entrepreneurial system and u.s. agriculture can help develop a new generation of cuban agriculture. the success of this policy shift and the potential for further opening does not hinge solely on the u.s.. the cuban government must take serious steps to reform politically and economically. we need to see substantial improvement in the cuban government's respect for democracy and human rights. it must free political prisoners and stop arbitrarily arresting people. must take steps to liberalize its state centered economic system if it truly helps to benefit from this growing interest in commerce with the united states. democrats and republicans can work together in the new congress to support a commonsense relationship between the u.s. and cuba. you just heard that from senator moran and you are hearing it from me. this isn't a partisan issue.
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members on both sides of the aisle recognize the continuing along the same path with respect to cuba is not a good objective and is hurting americans by restricting travel opportunities abroad. even in the death of the cold war attorney general robert kennedy who was one of fidel castro's most fervent opponents sought to resend the travel ban. noting that the band was inconsistent with traditional american liberty. i know that many of our colleagues have concerns about the shift in policy and i hope you can have a robust and substandard debate. congress must avoid obstructive actions by blocking the confirmation of an ambassador to cuba where the funding for diplomatic activities. instead congress should conduct reasonable oversight to ensure that her policies that are enhancing our economic interests
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and expanded commerce and travel and their political interest in cultivating new political freedoms in the country of cuba. 50 years of the embargo and travel ban have not secured adventures. it's trying a different approach. i thank all of you for being here today. i'm sure you are glad that this is your last week from someone on the hill. i'm looking forward to the changes that are starting to take place. i especially look forward to working with senator moran who just recently got on the commerce committee. i have been on that committee for a long time and i hope we will see some action of the commerce committee and obvious that a foreign relations and other committees dealing with these issues. i look forward to working with all of you in taking a practical approach that will be good for the people of cuba good for the people of the united states and good for the people of minnesota. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> you hear words common sense and practical and while the senator said this is the last speech for someone on the hill today yes but not tomorrow. we will be hearing more and more from our representatives and senators on the hill about this policy. this is just the beginning. at this time we would like you all to get a little comfortable. we are going to our industry leaders up to make a few comments and we will then engage in an interactive q&a with the press. we think the press very much for taking the time time to comment time to come and hear us and to let us tell our story. we do believe that the story will begin telling itself but nevertheless i call my colleague and vice chairman paul johnson up to facilitate the discussion with her industry leaders. >> recognizing the time is short here so we will jump right in. starting off with benjamin ward president and ceo of the usa
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rice federation. >> i'm going to go quickly and start by talking about rice and cuba. the cuban market for rice is not theoretical. it's real it's large and it's compelling. cuba is the second-largest importer of rice in america and there was a time along time ago when cuba was our number one export market. anyone who has visited cuba knows that rice is the mainstay of their diet. present in nearly all cuban mills. their annual consumption is one of the highest in the world about 200 pounds a year. compared to the u.s. which we consume 27 pounds a year. cuba does grow rice. they grow about 400,000 metric tons a year but to meet their high demand they import 600,000 metric tons. i'm proud to say that our industry is pressing for open trade and travel to cuba since
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the mid-1990s. we were the first u.s. commodity to re-enter cuba in 2001 at the havana trade fair and we continue to sponsor trade missions participating in forums here and in cuba. we did have sales during the early 2000. we sold about 64 million. that was the top sales in 2004. money is government policy changed our sales have fallen to zero starting in 2009. our loss has been vietnam's gain. they are the primary supplier of rice to cuba but we think is a lot for the cuban people as well. they are forced to eat and inferior product. we know the cuban people prefer u.s. rice. when i traveled there and when we were selling rice there consumers when they learned u.s. rice had arrived they would line up outside the stores for hours to get a chance to get some in
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the stores couldn't keep our rice on the shelves. so given the cuban preference for u.s. grown rice and the obvious advantages are rice farmers enjoy think we can quickly displace the lower-quality asian rising can capture more than half the market within five years. once any and all restrictions are lifted. i'm thrilled to be here today am proud to be a member of our new coalition and to be somebody steps closer to free and unfettered trade with cuba. thank you. >> thank you betsy. allen tracy was the president of u.s. wheat associates. >> thank you. in 1988, excuse me 1988 some of our u.s. associate members particularly the kansas wheat commission and the north dakota wheat commission and others paid for a shipment of flour to be donated to cuba. u.s. wheat facilitated that
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shipment. we went to cuba cuba and helped the miller's abusive. they were ecstatic. it was just 20 tons of flour but their bakers were able to use it so much more suited to their 100-gram role that is a standard part of the diet that they really wanted to have it. as soon as the legislation allowed it we began exporting and in 2002 the donation had to be cut care affiliate. it was not to the government but once he began to make make sales we gradually moved up to about half of that market, just under half of that market from 2004 to 2008 and tapered off down to about zero in 2011. long-term prospects are that it should be about a 1 million-ton
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market. they import nearly that much plus some flour. just to put it in perspective we should be able to garner 90% of the market as we do for the rest of the caribbean. it simply logical. they like the product. in today's dollar terms that's about $250 million a year and to paraphrase edward dirksen year after year that adds up to real money. so we recognize there is a lot of work to do but we greatly welcome this first step. the real meaning of this step and administration is a puts them in favor of fostering trade rather than frustrating it. we look forward to the lifting and changing of some of the regulations that are currently in place and have caused the decline. the cuban simply got frustrated with having to deal with us and
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our competitors and found their way in there again. that is again the first step. we have long called for the elimination of the embargo including in the journal of commerce in 1999 i believe it was. so we look forward to working with the coalition on those future steps on behalf of u.s. wheat to producers and on behalf of the logical and sensible relations with the people in cuba. thank you. >> thank you ellen. dale moore with the american farm bureau for a duration. >> thank you paul. one of the things we have had detail shared an honorable folks who have come up and talked about how important opening trade with cuba is good will may step back to look at this i don't think there's a farm commodity or egg partner that hasn't has had on the books for some time the importance of lifting the embargo.
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we fight unilateral embargo since so many different fronts over so many different years and this one has stuck around far too long. as my boss said when the president made his announcement he said do you have any idea where our talking points are in cuba? i had to admit no sir this is not something we have had on the radar so is a very pleasant surprise before christmas and something our farmers and ranchers across the country appreciate the effort to get this process started. as you all have seen a little bit ago it's great to see the bipartisan effort upon the hill to help us make this a reality on an even broader sense. i can add a lot of points and anecdotes and stories but i got the one minute signal out of the corner of my eyes so thank you very much. >> next we have the presence of the u.s. hide in leather association he represents the north american meat institute.
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>> thank you paul. appreciate it. we cut our speeches down to one minute from for trying to figure out what is the most important thing to say. all important but the meat and poultry industry one of the primary goals of this coalition is to increase the economic prosperity of the cuban people but what i think people don't realize is how much of the benefit that will create for our own industry. it offers a direct benefit to poultry producers especially. cuban consumers seek that higher animal protein to their diets. one of the products the middle class consumer buys in the global economy is additional animal protein with their additional income. cuba is a real market for u.s. poultry. despite existing financial burdens on the embargo of u.s. poultry exporters have established a substantial
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foothold in the market. last year they exported, the u.s. exported $128 million of poultry and to cuba and we saw a high of 160 million in 2012. this is a real market for us already but frankly these numbers could be better. finally we think it's important for our industry to see what's on the horizon in terms of future gains in this market. we expect tourism in touting cuba. they will need to service some of their premium foreign visitors coming to the island. this may have implications for other markets as well especially if we receive european tourists or tourists from countries that might be looking to u.s. made compulsory for the first time dealing with the trade
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agreements. we want them to know that in cuba they are eating eight texas reby or an iowa pork tenderloin so thank you. >> last but certainly not least grants who is the president of cargill america. >> thank you and i will try not to confuse my comments with the last keynote speaker. earlier we heard senator klobuchar talk about the minnesota farmer who is in havana for the discharge of the first u.s. shipment of wheat to cuba. it was was cargo beds sold that week to cuba. initial sales and early 2000 unfortunately we have seen a drop off dramatically. the reason is we have heard already if the united states agriculture does not compete on even footing. a year ago for three or four years i had the opportunity to work with cargo in mexico.
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when mexico imports of agricultural commodities the predominant majority come from united states. when it comes into the ocean-bound vessel it comes through the port of veracruz. in the last four years 95% of the corn that mexico has bought has come from u.s. farmers. come from the u.s. gulf. cargill has offices in santo domingo in the republican -- dominican republic. over half the quantity or public public -- dominican republic has come from u.s.. we are not competing on even footing. cargill has a history of believing in and supporting open trade and free trade and that comes from 150 years of experience doing business in 67 countries and seeing the benefits that free trade and open markets can bring to people's lives. it was around 20 years ago in 1995 when trade relations
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changed with vietnam and since then we have seen the power of free trade not only for cargill's business but for our customers and communities where we work and do business. in vietnam last year cargo completed work on building the 70th school for children in vietnam. today we don't have the opportunity to help communities and customers thrive in cuba like we do in other countries. this changed without broader action. we are supportive of changes to the law to help u.s. agriculture compete in the cuban market. >> thank you. this time this is that moment where we will open up for questions so please feel free to state who you are and who you are affiliated with them please make sure you make use of the knowledge of our industry leaders. we will go ahead and start with the first question.
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we have a roving mic. >> rich from fox business and to all of you folks here just to build on something that senator moran said. he pushed for changes to treasury regulations. you get the sense the administration can do more than it already has done unilaterally over at are we at the point where it's up to congress? >> i know there are a number of regulations that have been in place for so long i think they probably figured out where most of the screens and. i'm an agriculture guy. i'm not a treasury expert so my degree limits my ability to interpret treasury roles. i would say though the president having made this decision and made this announcement figured he is probably pushing the envelope as far as he can in hopes that it sparks action on the hill which clearly seems to
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have done. >> i think they can do some things administratively. one is establishing banking relationships with cuba. that is helpful so you don't have to go through a a third bank and then the issue of payments in advance. payments right now that if the cubans want to buy from us they have to pay for it before they leave the united states. to tweak that's so fundamentally the issue for us and our ability to compete with other suppliers in the market is the availability of credit. that's something that i think congress is going to have to address. we can't offer them any credit so our competitors can and they don't have a lot of money or a lot of cash to spend on these types of foods. i think that really is the congressional action. >> regulations do have the force
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of law and we all have to comply with revelations. trade thrives on certainty so we need to have that clarified with as much effective and useful change as the administration can foster on its own. we hope that happens. i don't think we are there yet but of course the far greater step is to allow the full normalization of trade relations that will allow all of the changes that we envision to go forward both in our trade and hopefully eventually in a relationship with cuba and the cuban government. >> next question. >> sort of in a similar vein how quickly do expect treasury to come out with some sort of regulations and is it going to be a final regulation that would change things or do expect them to propose a notice of change that could take a while before
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the actual change takes place? >> we would expect they would be moving swiftly. we don't have answers on specific dates and our guest would be that they would follow the law and allow for comment period but our guest is they are planning to move swiftly. >> encourage them to do an interim final which would allow time for comment which would allow the change to take effect. >> jim hagstrom from the hegstrom report. are you going to establish an office in washington to coordinate activities or how will it be managed? >> this is the effort where our coalition, we all have our offices. we meet when we can but essentially we are a coalition. no, we don't have an office. [laughter] no bricks and mortar but that means we will be agile.
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any other questions? >> yes, one other one. john from u.s. cuba trade and economic council has suggested one reason sales to cuba has been so popular as they have been on cash and in some cases when cuba has bought from other countries they haven't paid on time. he wonders whether it's a good idea to be extending credit to cuba. what are your views on that? >> i would just add that will be up to the individual companies involved. what we would seek would be to have the ability to offer terms more favorable to make currently have. isn't half so much the credit from my standpoint it as much as all the hoops we have to go through to open a line of credit. we often have to go to a
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european banks which opens credit to the united states. obviously our competitors don't have to do that. there are restrictions on ships themselves to call upon havana and u.s. ports. those kinds of things have greatly increased the shipping costs so these are some of the kinds of things that we would like to see fixed. but again this is a first step. we don't expect to have our full trade relationship restored overnight but it's a very important key step to have the administration be fostering rather than frustrating trade. >> next question. >> amanda with reuters. in this comment period that might be occurring at treasury and commerce i wonder kind of what your plans were, how actively you'll be submitting positions or information to let them know what steps you have taken. >> yes, yes and yes and yes.
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we have are to come together and established different working groups and are working on some solid recommendations. any other questions? with that, let us thank you for your time and attention. we know time is limited here in washington and you have spent a good course of your afternoon with us. let me reiterate something i said at the start of this conversation which is 54 years of unilateral sanctions is an experiment that has gone on for way too long. we certainly appreciate the comments of our political leaders when they talk about common sense and being practical practical. our association is about common sense in being practical. it's about as senator klobuchar said the 11 million people
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90 miles south of bar codes. it's those 11 million people who deserve an opportunity to move up the rungs of the poverty ladder. we don't believe we can do it with just singular agricultural trade flow going south. what we believe this to greater openness and normalization of relations that allows not only u.s. agriculture but other american businesses across manufacturing medical technology etc. to take advantage of that opportunity in the market and to also help the cuban people begin to grow their incomes and enhance their standards of living. so we are very much about a holistic approach and we will be using our voice with the u.s. congress which again we believe is for the most part by partisan on this issue and in fact we do believe that we have the majority of congress actually believing in this commonsense approach. not only the majority of congress but also the american people. the american people want a
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different approach with cuba and that is what the u.s. agriculture coalition is offering. so thank you very much and with that, we conclude our public launch. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] the house of representatives considered legislation to authorize the keystone xl pipeline to bring tar sands oil from canada to the u.s.. the house is expected to vote on final passage of the bill tomorrow and the senate is scheduled to consider the bill next week. for more we spoke with a
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capitol hill reporter. >> host: once again congress is debating the keystone xl pipeline and we are joined by the hills laura barron-lopez who covers energy and environment issues. why is the keystone bill 1 of the first bills to come up in congress and who is leading the effort in the house? >> guest: thanks for having me and keystone is the first bill to come up because since after the midterms last year senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said it was the first item he wanted to send to president obama's desk although there were likely be a veto. republicans want to push the president on this and they now finally have the votes to pass it through all of congress. right now in the house the bill is cosponsored by a number of republicans including representatives upton and sessions so they are scheduled to vote on the keystone xl bill on friday. >> host: is not only one of
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the first to come up in the 114th but one of the last issues they do within a 113th within the house somewhere around 130 democrats supporting it. what is different in terms of democratic votes in the house? >> guest: i wouldn't say there's anything to bring the house when it comes to the democrats that will vote for or against the bill. the ones that are opposed to it in the house are sticking to that line. the ones such as representative peter defazio who are not on bill with this -- on board with his bill and never have been don't plan on changing the dodo. >> host: the last number on their electoral conditions. the white house did not issue a veto and they did this time. what did they specifically object to in this keystone bill? >> the reason the white house issued this threat is they feel the bill circumvents the o democracy works. would you say the debate in
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terms of the senate side of the committee was a bipartisan debate or bipartisan support for the major? >> guest: there was only one democrat in the committee that voted for the bill and that was senator manchin was a co-sponsor with senator hoeven. there are a number of democrats on board. they're there are total of nine behind it. only one of them is on the committee, the defendant energy committee that you are talking about or so the democrats on the committee voted against the measure. >> host: i guess it's perhaps too far to hard to look at this but assuming it passes the house of the senate and lands on the president's desk and he vetoes the bill will the senate have the votes to override the veto? >> guest: that's a tricky one because right now with all of the democrats that the senator support the bill there are 63 that are behind passing the
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keystone xl bill and sending it to the presence desk. that means they have a filibuster proof majority but it's going to be a hard push to get it to the 67 needed. even if i were to happen the house doesn't have the votes to be able to override the president's veto. >> host: laura barron-lopez reporter for the hill read more at the and follow her and put her at al behrendt lopez. thanks for the update. >> guest: thank you. senator barbara boxer announced on our web site today that she's retiring after her current term. at 74 years old the hill writes
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that the senator's decision to retire into three decade congressional career and leaves the senate without one of its strongest liberal voices on environmental issues. the news seemed to catch some lawmakers on capitol hill by surprise. here's house minority leader nancy pelosi's reaction when asked about it at a press conference. ..
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she has always shared credit she has always tried to help people succeed with their ideas. she has reached across the aisle. she has reached across our state, which is a glorious state, and her leaving will be a great loss to the congress of the united states. people's california and to our


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