U.S. Reps Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., have introduced legislation (HR6445-Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act) to increase agricultural exports to Cuba. The legislation would also permit U.S. citizens to travel freely to the island.
Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, said that the bill’s “cosponsors deserve great credit for legislation that will advance our country's national interest and create new profits and jobs here at home for our agriculture and tourism industries, at no cost to America's taxpayers." In 2009, her organization published a report recommending increased food exports to Cuba and more private sector interaction between the two countries.
In terms of the proposed legislation, agricultural exports would meet the same payment requirements as other U.S. exports obviating the need for advanced payment and the use of foreign banks. The American Soybean Association supports the bill and further requests eligibility for Cuba as a recipient of USDA Foreign Market Development and Market Access Program funding.