Daily Briefing – June 14, 2018

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Senate Ag Committee Passes Farm Bill With Cuba Amendment: The Senate Agriculture Committee yesterday passed a five-year farm bill that included an amendment to allow the use of USDA trade promotion programs in Cuba. In a major step toward advancing food sales to Cuba, Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) offered the amendment, which authorizes for the first time the use of USDA Market Access Program and USDA Foreign Market Development Program funding for trade servicing, technical assistance and trade promotion activities in Cuba. (The Fence Post)

U.S.-Cuba Bilateral Commission to Meet Today in Washington, DC: For the first time since withdrawing its embassy personnel from Havana, the U.S. will host a Bilateral Commission meeting with Cuba today in Washington, DC. It will be the seventh such meeting between the two countries since relations were restored in 2015. The last meeting in September 2017 was overshadowed by reports of the mysterious illness that has affected two-dozen employees of the U.S. embassy. The Bilateral Commission is the platform to discuss cooperation on issues such as law enforcement, migration, claims and human rights. (NBC)

Cuba and China Meet to Cooperate in Forestry: Cuban Agriculture Minister Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero has concluded meetings with his counterpart in Beijing, reports Chinese media. Rodriguez met with Zhang Jianlong, China’s minister for forest and grassland administration, to discuss ways to increase communication and technical exchanges in the areas of forestry trade, biomass energy, and forest science technology. Cuba, with more than a quarter of its landmass covered in forest, is looking for ways to develop the resource. (National Forestry Administration)

Sherritt International Votes to Confirm Policies: Sherritt International Corporation announced the voting results of its annual shareholders meeting in Toronto. The Canadian-based mining company is the largest independent energy producer in Cuba, and the largest foreign investor in mining operations on the island, where it operates mining and refining plants for nickel and cobalt. Shareholders voted in favor of Sherritt’s continuing its present business model and all items of business put forth at the meeting. (Financial Post)

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