is not economics. It is White House ideology."
Max Baucus (D-Montana) in response to President Bush's threat to veto the appropriations
bill for the departments of Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development,
and Judiciary because they contain a provision to cut off any money that would
be used to implement the revised definition of "cash in advance" payments
- The value of U.S. agricultural sales to Cuba totaled $710 million in 2008, a 61% increase from 2007.
U.S. International Trade Commision estimates that U.S. agricultural sales would
double if trade restrictions were lifted.
U.S. states have signed agreements to export to Cuba.
value of total U.S. exports of agricultural products to Cuba was approximately
$500 million in 2006.
trade with Venezuela and China
is growing rapidly.
need a more rational policy toward Cuba."
Jeff Flake (R - AZ). 1/12/2007. Discussion on Cuba and US Policy Choices
after Rep. Flake led a congressional delegation to Cuba, the largest such delegation
to visit the island since 1959.
- Rumors begin to
circulate that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S.
Department of the Treasury is going to clarify the TSREEA of 2000. "Payment
of cash in advance with regard to shipments to Cuba would mean cash in advance
of the shipment of goods. The new ruling would be problematic because if
Cuba must pay for the goods before they leave a U.S. port, the goods become Cuban
assets, vulnerable to seizure to satisfy unrelated property claims against Cuba.
This would make Cuba less likely to import American agricultural goods.
interests are worried about the possible new legislation and go to Senator Larry
E. Craig, who introduces the Agricultural Export Facilitation Act. Representative
Jerry Moran introduces an identical bill in the House. The legislation would eliminate
a number of current restrictions on trade with Cuba. It would allow direct payments
from Cuba to U.S. banks, elimintating the need for 3rd party countries, it would
ease U.S. - Cuba travel restrictions for trade purposes, and it would define "cash
payment in advance" under the TSREEA of 2000 as cash in advance of the delivery
of goods. It would also repeal Section 211 of the Department of
Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1999, which states that
trademarks associated with companies that were confiscated by the Cuban government
will not be recognized, renewed or issued in the U.S. without consent of the original
order. It also prohibits foreign entities access to U.S. civil courts if they
wish to contest rights in these cases. The Craig bill states that Section 211
is a violation of international treaties and must be repealed to preserve the
rights of U.S. nationals holding trademarks in Cuba.
- OFAC, under pressure from the Bush Administration to harden policy towards
Cuba, announces that "payment of cash in advance means cash in advance
of the shipment of goods. The ruling is met with strong opposition by agricultural
- The Agricultural Export Facilitation Act is referred to committee in the
Senate and House.
Chambliss and Rep. Jo Emerson introduce legislation that would define
cash payment in advance as in advance of delivery, without any of the additional
legislation in the Agricultural Export Facilitation Act. The bill is sent to committee
in the Senate and House.
- Senator Max Baucus condemns the February rule change by the Treasury
Department, which makes American exporters less competitive in the Cuban market
than foreign vendors. He also restates the intention of Congress to open up the
Cuban market to agricultural sales for the benefit of American farmers, as well
as the American agricultural industry.
- Senator Max Baucus continues to block every single senior Treasury nominee
-- a dozen or more -- until the Bush administration agrees to the provisions Rep.
Emerson introduced to the Treasury bill. The provisions would cut off money used
to implement the new "cash in advance" definition, which has caused
a 26% decrease in sales to Cuba in just 4 months. President Bush threatens to
veto the appropriations bill for the departments of Transportation, Treasury,
Housing and Urban Development, and Judiciary if the Emerson provision is not removed.
ranks 25 of 228 in importance of agricultural export markets for U.S. companies,
up from the bottom of the list in 2001.
- For the 13th
consecutive year, the UN General Assembly votes overwhelmingly against the US
embargo against Cuba. The vote is 179 to 4 (the U.S., Israel, Marshall Islands
and Palau), with 1 abstention (Micronesia).
Michelle strikes Cuba and the U.S. offers humanitarian assistance to the Cuban
people. The Cuban government responds that it does not need humanitarian assistance,
but that it will allow the U.S. to replace the stocks that were destroyed. Castro
seems to use the hurricane as an excuse to begin agricultural trade after realizing
that his refusal in 2000 was a tactical mistake. Agricultural trade has continued
ever since December of 2001 and the value of total U.S. exports of agricultural
products is now approximately $1 billion.
- The Nethercutt
Amendment is attached to an agricultural appropriations bill in Congress and
becomes known as the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSREEA),
which would allow the cash sale of food and medicine to Cuba, Libya, the Sudan,
Iran, and North Korea.
representatives, led by Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart and backed by Republican
leadership introduce a restriction to the bill: while leaving the other four countries
alone, U.S. - Cuba travel would be restricted further, along with restrictions
to Cuba sales, including prohibiting U.S. government and private bank trade credits.
This would force Cuba to go through third party banks that charge additional fees.
of election-year politics and a deal cut with Republican leadership,the Nethercutt
Amendment passes with the added restrictions to Cuba. Although it is not all that
agricultural interests and many Congressmen had hoped for, they see it as a good
opportunity for opening up U.S.-Cuba trade and an important political step.
response, although the Cuban government agrees that agricultural trade would be
beneficial to both countries, they view the additional restrictions on Cuba as
insulting and discriminatory and refuse any commercial engagement.
Max Baucus reaches an agreement with the Treasury concerning the payment of agricultural
goods from Cuba, allowing the Treasury to appoint the six, previously stalled
nominees for senior Treasury Department jobs (By Chris Kleponis /Bloomberg News)