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NFTC and USA*Engage Welcome New Cuba Regulations Notes “More Work Left to Be Done”
Date: 9/8/2009
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

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.

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About USA*Engage

USA*Engage (www.usaengage.org) is a coalition of small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org), USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policy-makers, opinion-leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy world wide.

About the NFTC

The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.