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April 02, 2005 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee to Hold Hearing on U.S. Agricultural Sales to Cuba

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing on U.S. agricultural sales to Cuba on April 12, 2005 at 9:30 AM in room 419 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Three panels of witnesses will testify at the hearing, which will focus on the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control's (OFAC) recent regulation "clarifying" the term "payment of cash in advance" in connection with agricultural sales to Cuba.

The first panel of witnesses will consist of Senators Larry E. Craig (R-ID) and Max Baucus (D-MT), co-sponsors of the Agricultural Export Facilitation Act of 2005 (S. 328), which, among other things, would amend the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA) to clarify allowable payment terms for sales of agricultural commodities and products to Cuba. They will be followed by Juan C. Zarate, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing at the Treasury Department. The third panel will consist of testimony by Terry Harris, Chairman of the USA Rice Federation's International Trade Committee, Don Villwock, President of the Indiana Farm Bureau Federation and Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council.

On a related note, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) recently introduced S. 634 that would also amend the TSRA provisions relating to payments of agricultural products to Cuba. However, S. 634 does not include the travel, visa and intellectual property provisions included in S. 328. Representative Joann Emerson (R-MO) introduced a companion bill in the House (H.R. 1339).



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