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Senator Steve Sodders, Rep.Kirsten Running-Marquardt leading delegation to Cuba

December 31, 2015
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

DES MOINES- Two Iowa legislators announced today (Dec. 31) they will lead a delegation at the start of the new year to Cuba to form critical relationships between Cuba and Iowa in order to open up options for potential trade.

"These meetings in Cuba are part of ongoing efforts to improve relationships with this emerging new market located just off the coast of the United States," said Senator Sodders, Vice Chair of the Senate Economic Growth Committee. "Iowans create many products which could find a market in Cuba. Expanded trade can bring benefits to the people of both countries."

Iowa Senator Steve Sodders of State Center and Iowa State Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt of Cedar Rapids will be meeting with representatives from the Cuban government and business leaders to focus on fostering new business opportunities between Iowa and Cuba. The trade mission also will also include representatives of economic development, tourism, and trade interests. Sodders represents Tama, Marshall and a portion of black Hawk County in the Iowa Senate.

Article Photos

State senator Steve Sodders
D-State Center

Sodders and Running-Marquardt will be joined by Carlos Portes, a former ambassador for Latin America. Portes came to the U.S. at the age of 9 and was raised by a Marshalltown family. Later he was appointed Special Ambassador for Latin American affairs by President Jimmy Carter, and he has spent much of his life working to improve United States and Latin America relations.

The brief trip, which was previously delayed due to scheduling conflicts, will take place January 4, 2016 and will last four days. The 2016 legislative session begins on January 11.

"These meetings will be an opportunity to showcase Iowa and develop future economic growth, as well as build key relationships. The United States military has made this next step possible. Without their sacrifice we would not be able to move forward to build peaceful and beneficial relationships between Iowa and Cuba." said Rep. Running-Marquardt, Ranking Member of the Iowa House Economic Development Appropriations Committee.

During the 2015 Legislative Session Senator Sodders introduced Senate Resolution 5, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Iowa Senate last March, in an effort to develop support for an enhanced trade relationship between Iowa and Cuba.



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