U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., joined a bipartisan group of senators in introducing legislation that would remove a hurdle for American farmers and ranchers aiming to sell American agricultural products in the Cuban market. The bipartisan bill would support jobs in Wyoming and throughout the country by lifting restrictions on private financing for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba.
“Trade is an incredibly effective way to open communication with the Cuban people and show the benefits of capitalism,” Enzi said. “Not only will the trade of agricultural products help Cubans, it will expand a much needed market for American farmers and ranchers, including those in Wyoming. This bill would be a win-win, leveling the playing field for our farmers and ranchers competing in the global market and promoting American interests abroad.”
Currently, the Trade Sanctions and Reform Act (TSRA) prohibits private credit for Cuban exports, which forces Cubans to pay with cash up front for American-grown food. As a result, American farm goods have become less competitive, and Cuba has turned to other countries who are able to directly extend credit to Cuban buyers for transactions. This bill would amend the TSRA to allow for private financing of agricultural exports.
The Agricultural Export Expansion Act of 2019 was led by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and John Boozman, R-Ark. It was also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tom Udall, D-N.M., Angus King, I-Maine, Mark Warner, D-Va., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Text of the bill is available here.