NFTC and USA*Engage Welcome Ag Committee’s “New Strategy of Engagement” for Cuba

Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Business Groups Applaud Passage of Legislation to RepealTravel Ban, Ease Trade Restrictions

Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today applauded the House Agriculture Committee for approving H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, during a markup this afternoon. NFTC Vice President for Global Trade Issues Jake Colvin released the following statement:

"NFTC commends the House Agriculture Committee for favorably reporting H.R. 4645. Today's vote is the first step towards a more rational foreign policy towards Cuba, and one that the business community strongly supports.

"Now that this bill has passed the Committee, we urge House leadership to bring the bill to the floor quickly. Should this important piece of legislation come to the floor, Members' votes will be included in this year's NFTC/USA*Engage Congressional scorecard.

"This bill is in the interest of American farmers, businesses and citizens, and would mark one of the only pro-trade votes the House may have this year.

"We applaud the members of the committee who voted in favor of this legislation. We are particularly grateful to Chairman Peterson for his dedication and leadership in moving this bill forward, as well as for his ongoing efforts to champion U.S. Cuba policy reform."

NFTC and USA*Engage have been strong advocates of the legislation which would lift restrictions on travel by American citizens to Cuba and U.S. agricultural and humanitarian exports to the country. Yesterday, the associations sent a letter to all members of the committee urging them to support the bill.

*NOTE: If you would like additional commentary or an opportunity to speak with Jake about the markup,please contact Jennifer Cummings at 202-822-9491 or