Push Being Made for Change in Trade Policy with Cuba

Kansas Congressman asks for reversal of regulation.

The Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 was a major shift in trade policy with Cuba. It allowed for the export of food, agricultural commodities and medical supplies from the U.S. to Cuba as long as they were based on cash in advance.

However; in 2005 a regulation was introduced by the Treasury Department that redefined the meaning of payment of cash in advance. Under this regulation, cash payments from Cuba for U.S. agriculture exports are required to be made before ships leave U.S. ports rather than upon delivery.

Representative Jerry Moran, R-Kan., says this makes it extremely difficult for American farmers to do business with Cuba. He has written to President-elect Obama asking for reform of U.S. trade policies with Cuba, in particular reversing the 2005 regulations.

In addition, federal regulations prohibit direct transfers of funds from Cuban buyers to U.S. sellers, increasing transaction costs. Moran’s letter requests the new administration reverse this regulation to encourage more successful and consistent trade policies with Cuba.

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