Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and 17 cosponsors introduced legislation this week to improve the ability of U.S. agriculture producers to market their products to Cuba.
H.R. 1737, the Agricultural Export Facilitation Act of 2009, would remove barriers to present and future sales of U.S. agricultural products to Cuba under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSREEA) of 2000. The bill clarifies that a seller of a product receives payment at the time a Cuban purchaser takes physical possession of that product.
The bill is just the latest activity on the Cuba issue. The recently-passed omnibus spending bill modified rules for agriculture-related travel to Cuba and provided a fix to the TSREEA requirements, though Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner has indicated that the provisions will have little practical effect on Cuba trade.
Additional bills addressing travel to Cuba, H.R. 874 and S. 428, have been introduced in the House and Senate with significant co-sponsorship. Also, House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) recently introduced three Cuba bills: to end the U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba; to liberalize travel to Cuba; and to reiterate the provisions in the omnibus.