Seeking to fan agriculture exports to Cuba, a Minnesota House panel took initial steps Tuesday to spend state money on promoting the shipment of goods to the island nation amid improving relations with the United States. The bipartisan bill that the House Agriculture Finance Committee kept in the budget mix would designate $100,000 to promote marketing exports to Cuba.
Talk of a new Minnesota trade mission to Cuba is in the air. The House Agriculture Finance Committee kept a bill in the mix Tuesday that would designate $100,000 to promote agriculture exports to Cuba. Its sponsor says half of that could defray costs from a state trade trip to the island nation.
Minnesota’s agricultural exports hit a record $6.8 billion last year. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says that’s up 13 percent, or about $750 million over the previous year.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture reports that Minnesota exported $900 million more in agricultural products in 2010 than the year before.
Minnesota exports set a first-quarter record with $4.8 billion in goods shipped out of the state.
Gov. Mark Dayton says an export push will bring top officials from President Barack Obama’s administration to Minnesota next month.