Chairman Bob Goodlatte chaired a House Committee on Agriculture hearing to review regulations issued by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) concerning “payment of cash in advance” and the effect of the redefinition of the payment policy on U.S. agricultural trade with Cuba.

Earlier this year, OFAC published its final rule requiring U.S. agricultural exporters to receive payment from Cuba before shipping commodities. Several members of Congress have voiced opposition to this change, noting that requiring cash payments before shipment will likely curtail Cuban interest in purchasing U.S. commodities.

Congress lifted unilateral trade sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine and medical products to several sanctioned countries, including Cuba under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000. Since that time Cuba has purchased $774 million of U.S. farm commodities and food products.

Some exporters have expressed concern that the redefinition of “payment of cash in advance” by the OFAC, will result in the potential loss of exports.

Goodlatte pledge to closely monitor the effects of the new policy to ensure minimal trade disruption of U.S. trade to Cuba.

House Agriculture Committee