Administration relaxes some restrictions on trade with Cuba
Oct. 25, 2016-There's been a lot of buzz about the elimination of a long-standing $100 limit on the amount of rum and cigars that U.S. citizens can bring back in their personal luggage from Cuba. Making far fewer headlines, but perhaps more important to U.S. agriculture, is the elimination of credit payment terms that until now applied to certain agricultural production items, such as pesticides and tractors, that are authorized for export to Cuba.
The administration's recent changes also eliminated a rule for shipping to Cuba, which will ensure easier access for U.S. agriculture in the future. The rule blocked U.S. ships traveling directly to Cuba from returning to the U.S. for 180 days.
American Farm Bureau Federation trade specialist Dave Salmonsen said the changes are a good step, but there's a ways to go before the embargo on U.S. food products is lifted.
"The elimination of the restriction on extending credit and the end to the shipping rules are positive actions from the administration, but we'll need Congress to lift the restrictions on financing for U.S. food and agricultural products sold in Cuba," Salmonsen explained.
Under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, U.S. farm and ranch goods are subject to the limited payment and financing terms of cash-in-advance or third-country financing. Only Congress can change that.
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