Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Minnesota lawmaker: Feeding Cuba is good for U.S. economy

News from the House Agriculture Committee

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Media Contact:
April Slayton (202) 225-6872
James Ryder (202) 225-0020

Chairman Peterson Introduces Legislation to Expand Agriculture Exports
to Cuba

WASHINGTON - Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C.
Peterson of Minnesota introduced legislation to expand U.S.
agriculture exports to Cuba. This bipartisan bill, H.R. 4645, the Travel
Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, is co-sponsored by more
than 30 other Members of Congress, including Representatives Jerry Moran
of Kansas, Rosa L. DeLauro of Connecticut, and Jo Ann Emerson of

"Helping feed Cuba is good for the U.S. economy and for the Cuban
people. This bill increases the ability of our farmers to sell their
products to Cuba just like they do with our other trading partners,"
Chairman Peterson said.

"U.S. producers are the closest suppliers that can help meet the food
and agriculture needs of the Cuban people. Opportunities to sell to
paying customers in Cuba have been hindered by bureaucratic red tape and
by arbitrary prohibitions on the ability of U.S.
citizens to travel to Cuba. This bill cuts the red tape and allows that
trade and travel to happen," Chairman Peterson said.

The Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act would eliminate
both the need to go through banks in other countries to conduct
agricultural trades and the accompanying fees those banks charge.

The bill would also require agricultural exports to Cuba to meet the
same payment requirements as exports to other countries, which means
payment would be required when the title of the shipment changes hands,
not in advance.

Finally, the bill would allow U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba, reducing
the bureaucratic red tape currently required for individuals to travel
to Cuba to facilitate new agriculture sales.


The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture web site
http://agriculture.house.gov has additional information on this and
other subjects.

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