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American Shipper

Baucus bill opens U.S. ag, medical exports to Cuba

Baucus bill opens U.S. ag, medical exports to Cuba

   Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has introduced legislation that would, in addition to lifting the U.S. travel ban to Cuba, reduce barriers to export agricultural and medical products to the Caribbean country.

   Primary aspects of the legislation, the Promoting American Agricultural and Medical Exports to Cuba Act (S.1089), include:

   ' Revise the definition of the payment term known as “cash-in-advance” to its original congressional intent under the 2000 Trade Sanctions and Reform Act.

   ' Authorize direct transfers between U.S. and Cuba banks for agricultural exports.

   ' Require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba.

   ' Advocate the issuance of U.S. visas related to agricultural exports.

   ' Remove impediments to medical products exports from the United States to Cuba.

   Various trade groups praised the Baucus legislation.

   “The proposed provisions will not only benefit the American farmers and medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers who will enjoy the advantages of better market access, but also the people of Cuba who could reap the benefits of new humanitarian imports and the opportunity to interact with Americans,” said the National Foreign Trade Council and USA*Engage in a joint statement on Thursday.