October 11 - The Port of New Orleans has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cuba, which pledges to expand trade and commerce opportunities between Louisiana and the Caribbean nation.
The agreement also calls for joint marketing and information sharing efforts to meet those objectives, explained the US port.
"The proximity and historical relationship between Cuba and the Port of New Orleans has us well-positioned should the trade embargo be lifted, and we are prepared to play an important role in trade when the time comes," said Port of New Orleans' chief operating officer, Brandy Christian.
Louisiana's governor John Bel Edwards added: "There remains much work to be done before our nation's embargo on broader trade with Cuba is lifted. However, there are new opportunities that can benefit Louisiana, and I am optimistic that we will be able to build on our existing trade partnership with Cuba following [a] bipartisan visit.
"We want Louisiana to be first in line to any new opportunities with Cuba, particularly the import, export and foreign direct investment possibilities that could range into the billions of dollars in the coming years. For those reasons, we are eager to embark on this trade mission and to place Louisiana in a unique position of leadership with respect to Cuba."
Manuel Fernandez Perez Guerra, director general of the National Port Administration of Cuba, and Brandy Christian, Port of New Orleans' chief operating officer, sign the MoU in Havana.