White House highlights Ag MOU with Cuba
December 14, 2016
White House National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes on Tuesday highlighted the U.S. government's Agriculture memo of understanding with Cuba in a call to reporters about the two-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's decision to re-establish U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba.
"On agriculture, our MOU allows for increased cooperation in dealing with plant and animal sanitation, agricultural trade, irrigation and tool conservation," Rhodes said in the call. "There's a lot of interest in the United States for further collaboration on agriculture, so this is a good foundation for continued work going forward."
Rhodes said "there is uncertainty" now among Cuban officials about what direction the Trump administration will take on Cuba.
Cuban officials, Rhodes said, "want to see the approach that the new administration will take. We've seen a variety of different statements from the president-elect over the course of the last few years about Cuba policy, generally."
The Obama administration, he added, has been trying "to create as much momentum for the policy so as to make it irreversible, to enlist as many stakeholders as we could in the policy so as to make it irreversible. At the end of the day, we get eight years and we'll be done on January 20th, and the new administration can make their own decisions about whether they want to try to reverse aspects of our policy."
–The Hagstrom Report