ATR Supports H.R. 3687, the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act

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Posted by Natalie De Vincenzi on Tuesday, October 11th, 2016, 3:13 PM PERMALINK

ATR today sent a letter of support for Congressman Rick Crawford’s bill H.R. 3687, the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act. This bill would lift the current restrictions on private financing that exist under the Trade Sections Reform Act (TSRA) and institute safeguard measures to ensure that no funding is given to the regime. H.R. 3687 would also permit USDA marketing programs and limited agricultural investment in Cuba. Cuba imports nearly 80% of its food. Enacting this bill will enable American farmers to fulfill Cuba’s agricultural demand without any monetary funds granted to the regime. See the letter of support here or below. 

October 11, 2016

The Honorable Rick Crawford
United States House of Representatives
1711 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Crawford,

I write in support of H.R. 3687, the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act. By removing needless private financing restrictions that exist under the Trade Sections Reform Act (TSRA), this legislation promotes market access for American agriculture that will lead to more jobs and higher wages.

American farmers have lost nearly $1 billion in the last few years due to the existing Cuba financing restrictions. It is important that we expand trade with Cuba, while keeping safeguards that ensure that no taxpayer funding is given to the regime.

While U.S. producers are now free to export agricultural goods to Cuba, there are many restrictions that still prohibit agricultural businesses from reaching full export potential.  Under TSRA, only cash-based trade and third-party financing agreements are allowed with Cuba. Additionally, under current law, businesses are not permitted to receive help from USDA marketing programs or invest in agricultural business development in Cuba.

The Cuba Agricultural Exports Act would fix this by lifting the private financing restrictions under TSRA, permitting the USDA marketing program to function in Cuba, and allowing limited agricultural development investment in Cuba.

The legislation implements key safeguards to ensure that no funding is granted to the regime. Before being allowed to invest in Cuba, businesses must receive joint approval from the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Agriculture. This bill also contains restriction on investment in Cuban government entities as well as those who operate in property that was confiscated during the revolution.

ATR is opposed to any government guarantees of loans to the regime or any taxpayer grants to the regime. We do support free and open trade as well as open travel to Cuba. Americans trading with island will serve as the best ambassadors of freedom to help liberate the people of Cuba from the failed socialist regime. This legislation is one step toward ensuring open trade with Cuba. As such, all members of Congress should support and co-sponsor the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act.

Onward,

Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

 

 

Photo Credit: 
USDA

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