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Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation

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Congressional rept.

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Falling agricultural exports and declining commodity prices led farm groups and agribusiness firms to urge the 106th Congress to pass legislation exempting foods and agricultural commodities from U.S. economic sanctions against certain countries. In completing action on the FY2001 agriculture appropriations bill, Congress codified the lifting of unilateral sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical products to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan, and extended this policy to apply to Cuba Title IX of H.R. 5426, as enacted by P.L. 106-387 Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, or TSRA. Other provisions place financing and licensing conditions on sales to these countries. Those that apply to Cuba, though, are permanent and more restrictive. TSRA also gives Congress the authority in the future to veto a Presidents proposal to impose a sanction on the sale of agricultural or medical products. Codifying the food and medical sales exemption for Cuba generated the most controversy. Exemption proponents argued that prohibiting sales to Cuba harmed the U.S. agricultural sector, and that opening up limited trade would be one way to pursue a constructive engagement policy. Opponents countered that an exemption would undercut U.S. policy to pressure the Castro government to make political and economic reforms. Though top Cuban officials initially stated that no purchases would be made with TSRAs conditions in place, food stock losses caused by a hurricane and an apparent shift in Cuban strategy have led to 774 million in cash purchases by Cuba of U.S. farm commodities and food products from December 2001 through year-end 2004. Agricultural sales to Iran, Libya, and Sudan under TSRA have totaled 199 million.

Subject Categories:

  • Agronomy, Horticulture and Aquiculture
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Food, Food Service and Nutrition
  • Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies

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