BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A five-day trade mission to Cuba for Gov. John Bel Edwards, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and other state workers cost the state $150,134.
The Times-Picayune reports ( http://bit.ly/2iy1xid ) the single largest expense was the governor’s security detail — about $35,000.
Louisiana is Cuba’s leading trade partner in the United States. The state exported $1.4 billion worth of goods to Cuba in the past decade.
Edwards, a Democrat, and Strain, a Republican, took the trip in part because the GOP-dominated Legislature charged the Edwards administration with strengthening Louisiana-Cuba ties.
Edwards and other officials signed agreements in Cuba to expand trade with the country if the federal government relaxes its policy toward Cuba.
The cost was obtained by the newspaper through public records.
While other states sent delegations to Cuba, the Edwards administration thinks Louisiana enjoyed better access.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com
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