How U.S. relations with Cuba could help Illinois

- President Barack Obama's trip to Cuba this week could be a positive first step for the future of Illinois.

Lee Strom, a director at FARM Illinois, called Cuba a "tremendous opportunity" for Illinois to bolster its already prominent agriculture industry,  which generates $120 billion annually.

Strom argues that Illinois should be on the forefront of normalizing relations with Cuba becomes and that the state stands to benefit from increased Cuban imports and better business connections.

" You have 11 million residents in Cuba about 90 miles from our shore. They import roughly $2 billion currently, most of that comes from destinations other than the United States because of these trade restrictions," Strom said. "Normalizing our trade relations could increase our opportunity to export our industries like our food processing and manufacturing, which are rich here in Chicago, our agriculture sector across the state that produces large quantities of corn and soybeans."

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