The Illinois Cuba Working Group (ICWG), was created by an Illinois Resolution that was unanimously approved in the 2013 Illinois General Assembly with all 47 Republicans and 71 Democrats voting in favor. We aim to keep the positive momentum that has been established between Illinois and Cuba.
The organization grew out of an initiative that began in 1999 when Illinois was the first State to travel to Cuba during the embargo. Through the collaboration of political, business and community support, the U.S. Congress passed the Trade Sanctions and Reform Act in 2001. That Act permitted the sale of agricultural products, and represented the first major effort to remove the embargo and barriers to "normalized" trade relations with Cuba.
We have grown since our inception and now work closely with a national coalition that we created along with the Illinois Soybean Growers Association and Cargill. The United States Agriculture Coalition for Cuba represents over 120 national and state agriculture groups and is the largest organization dedicated to improving trade relations with Cuba.