Devry Boughner Vorwerk Quoted by Bloomberg BNA on Benefits to Agriculture Industry from Starwood Deal in Cuba

In its article “Starwood’s Deal in Cuba Encourages Would-Be Investors,” Bloomberg BNA quoted Akin Gump senior policy advisor Devry Boughner Vorwerk on the likely benefits to the agriculture industry from a growth in travel and tourism in Cuba. Vorwerk, who also serves as chairwoman of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, said the opening of the Cuban market to companies like Starwood Hotels & Resorts is a positive sign since travelers have to eat.

Under the embargo, the agriculture industry cannot privately finance agriculture exports to Cuba, which means it loses ground to countries already offering competitive financing, Vorwerk said. The Starwood deal, under which the company will renovate and manage three Cuban hotels, she added, has not only galvanized the agriculture industry to urge lawmakers to pass a bill that would let Cuba buy U.S. food and agriculture products on credit. It has also demonstrated the need to provide high-quality food products to travelers. “Who should be feeding those people, our competitors? No, we think not,” Vorwerk said.