House votes to ease Cuba sales
The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday approved an amendment that would east restrictions on Cuban payments for U.S. agricultural exports, the Miami Herald reported.
The amendment is an effort to overturn a 2005 Treasury Department decision that tightened restrictions on Cuban purchases of U.S. products.
Cuba must prepay for U.S. goods in cash before a vessel with the exports departs, rather than paying upon arrival.
Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, said that since the rule went into effect, U.S. corn sales to Cuba dropped 21 percent, meat sales were off 26 percent, and wheat sales were down 17 percent. Moran said the Treasury Department decision was 'only harmful to our farmers.'
Although the House approved the amendment on payment requirements, it rejected proposed amendments to end the Cuban trade embargo and to ease student travel to Cuba. Another amendment to overturn restrictions on religious travel was withdrawn by Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, presumably because it would have been defeated, the report said.