NFTC and USA*Engage Welcome New Cuba Regulations

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today welcomed the release of new Cuba regulations by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security. The regulations, which implement President Obama’s April 13 directive on Cuba policy, loosen restrictions on the ability of Cuban Americans and businesspersons to travel to Cuba, expand the amount of remittances and other items that may be sent or brought to Cuba, and allow for increased participation by U.S. businesses in Cuba’s telecommunication industry.

“We welcome the new regulations, which represent a shift in U.S policy and will help to advance diplomacy through increased travel to and communication with Cuba,” said NFTC President and USA*Engage Co-Chair Bill Reinsch. “In particular, we applaud changes in rules regulating the provision of telecommunications services and the loosening of travel restrictions related to the sale of agriculture, medical and communications equipment, allowing for increased contact between Cuba and the U.S. private sector.” 
“While these changes are encouraging, Congress and the Administration can’t lose sight of the fact that there is much more work left to be done to reform U.S. Cuba policy,” said NFTC Vice President for Global Trade Issues Jake Colvin. “We encourage Congress to pass legislation lifting restrictions on the right of U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba, and hope that the Administration will further loosen restrictions on the ability of students, artists, researchers and others to travel to Cuba as permitted under current law. The Administration can do more here.”

Additional information is available here.