In a letter this week, USA Rice Federation and 20 other agricultural and related organizations told President Obama of their willingness to work with him “to bring immediate and full change with regard to U.S. policy toward trade and economic relations with Cuba.”

USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward said the letter “promptly establishes U.S.-Cuba trade as an issue of the highest priority to USA Rice and many other commodity and export-related businesses, which we’ll pursue very aggressively with the president, his farm and trade officials, and the Congress.”

“We’ll be promoting the opening of U.S.-Cuba trade as a major trade priority during next month’s USA Rice Government Affairs Conference,” Ward said. “Our letter to the president, when combined with our upcoming Government Affairs Conference discussions with the administration and Congress, will communicate the commitment with which we’ll pursue expanding U.S. trade with Cuba.”

The organizations urged the president to use his “executive authority to open up U.S.-Cuba trade and travel by eliminating regulatory restrictions on personal and commercial travel to Cuba and allowing normal commercial transactions and direct payment terms.

“Now is the time to change U.S. relations with Cuba to an unrestricted, unobstructed status.”