Transfer Point Meetings Progress In Havana, Cuba


Transfer Point executives returned from their first trade mission to Cuba, attending the celebration of the first US sales of food and agricultural products to Cuba since the embargo was relaxed in these categories in 2001.

The United States first imposed a trade embargo against Cuba in 1960, to protest Castro's expropriation of property belonging to U.S. citizens and companies. Congress relaxed the trade restrictions two years ago, allowing U.S. companies to sell a long list of food and medical products to the island.

Many Americans see great opportunity, even in a Castro-run Cuba, pointing to nearly $110 million in new U.S. food sales to the island just this month. "Ending the embargo is the right thing to do," said Iowa Agriculture Secretary Patty Judge, one of the American farm leaders in Cuba last week. "When Americans can finally come to Cuba on vacation, they might want steak, and we hope that steak is sourced from Iowa." The agricultural commissioners of Alabama, North Dakota and Virginia; the secretary of agriculture for Iowa; senior executives of agricultural producers and exporters associations; agricultural companies and marketing, shipping and consultancy agents attended the exchange.

President Fidel Castro met December 16th at the International Conference Center with more than 250 U.S. businessmen who had been negotiating contracts with ALIMPORT since Monday. Among the group of business leaders from the U.S. was A.J. Lanigan, a leader in the field of immune supportive dietary supplements called Beta 1,3- D glucan. Mr. Lanigan had the opportunity to dine at the Palace of the Revolution with Fidel Castro, his brother Ramon Castro, officials from ALIMPORT, and engaged with top medical officials from Cuba to discuss Beta 1,3-D glucan within the healthcare system in Cuba.

Lanigan stated, “The United States and Cuba will mutually benefit through the normalization of trade and travel. I export and can travel freely into Germany, Japan, China, Korea, etc. If I can eat Iowa pork and drink California wine in Cuba, I want my Beta 1,3-D glucan available when it suits a Cuban or anyone else.”

Joining Mr. Lanigan as the company’s co-negotiator and chief advisor is Antonio C. Martinez II, of the firm Martinez Bass in Washington DC. Martinez is an expert on Cuba and Food and Drug issues. “Cuba is interested in obtaining high quality nutritionals and certain medications. This is the natural progression of their interest in the food and medicine markets. We look forward to expanding our business and having Tony Martinez serve with Transfer Point as its advisor on our deals with Cuba.”

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