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Moran Requests President-Elect Barack Obama Reform U.S., Cuba Trade Policies

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Moran Requests President-Elect Barack Obama Reform U.S., Cuba Trade Policies

Congressman Jerry Moran sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama today asking him to make it a priority in his new Administration to reform U.S. trade policies with Cuba. In his request, Moran asked President-elect Obama to reverse regulations put in place in 2005 by the Bush Administration that have hindered agriculture and food exports under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA).

TSRA enacted the first substantial change in trade policy with Cuba since imposition of the Cuban trade embargo in 1962. It allowed the export of food, agricultural commodities and medical supplies from the U.S. to Cuba. Moran was the original sponsor of this legislation in July of 2000, which eventually became law in 2001.

"Since coming to Congress I have consistently supported and voted for legislation that opens Cuban markets to American goods," Moran said. "In 2000, I was proud to lead the effort to help pass the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act that changed the trade policies of U.S. agriculture products to Cuba for the first time in nearly 40 years. The Bush Administration's regulations changed the meaning of TSRA policies and weakened the original intent to promote agriculture trade between the U.S. and Cuba. I encourage President-elect Obama to restore the original intent of TSRA."

In 2005, a regulation was introduced by the Treasury Department that changed the meaning of trade policies with Cuba under TSRA by redefining 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, making it difficult for American farmers to sell their products to Cuba. In addition, federal regulations prohibit direct transfers of funds from Cuban buyers to U.S. sellers, increasing transaction costs. Moran's letter today to President-elect Obama requests the new administration reverse this regulation to encourage more successful and consistent trade policies with Cuba.

Moran has long supported a reform of U.S. trade policy with Cuba can facilitate new markets for U.S. farmers and ranchers and improve the opportunities for freedom for the Cuban people.

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