Alabama-Cuba Agree to Trade and China Gets Mill Equipment

While many people are focused on a battle of a monument to the Ten Commandments, Alabama has entered into a trade agreement with country whose government has been known to have little tolerance for organized religion.

State Agriculture Chairman Ron Sparks says Cuba has agreed to buy $2.5 million dollars worth of timber from an Atmore company, Swift Lumber.

Additionally, the Cubans will buy a small herd of dairy cattle from a Faunsdale farmer and cattle embryos from a Selma man. Fidel Castro's country also signed a letter of intent to buy chicken, cotton, powdered milk, newsprint, and other agricultural products from the state.

Another government, not known to be favorable to religion, will also benefit from a Gadsden steel mill, which was shut down in September of 2000. Gulf States Steel employed 1,700 when it was shut down. United Steelworkers of America Local 2176's former presidents says the sale means there's no chance the plant will be reopen.

The chief operating officer of the Gadsden Industrial Park, Don Casey, says it will take about six months to dismantle and ship the equipment. Casey says approximately 50 people will be employed. Casey said the plants may be operating in China within a year.