Ryan, O’Brien to Discuss Upcoming Cuba Trip

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and state Rep. Sean O’Brien will hold a news conference Tuesday to discuss their trip to Cuba later this month.

During their trip, Ryan, D-13 Ohio, and O’Brien, D-63 Bazetta, will meet with Cuban officials and study ways to strengthen Ohio’s economic ties with the island nation. Joining O’Brien and Ryan on the research mission will be attorney Luis M. Alcalde of Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter and Vista Trade Group, and several northeastern Ohio business leaders.

This mission marks the first time in at least 55 years that a group of Ohioans will discuss trade with Cuban officials, and is one of the first trips of its kind in the country to be undertaken since the recent “thaw” in U.S.-Cuba relations.

“Given the assets of the Mahoning Valley, it makes perfect sense for us to go to Cuba and explore the economic opportunities that will benefit the businesses and people here in northeastern Ohio,” Ryan said in a statement.

“Our manufacturing expertise and agricultural sector can provide the Cuban people with great products made right here in our state,” he continued.

“This research mission allows us to develop mutually beneficial relationships that will grow our economy,” O’Brien said. “Ohio can provide the infrastructure, agriculture and technology development that Cuba needs, while our state can benefit from Cuba’s proficiency in health care.”

In addition to economic and legal research, the Ohio delegation will explore the Mariel Special Development Zone, Cuba’s state-run economy and foreign investment law. The mission group will also research Cuba’s private sector economy and meet with U.S. Embassy officials in Havana.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.