Private sector banks and companies will be able to offer credit for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba with the adoption of an amendment by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The amendment was attached to the fiscal year ‘17 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations legislation. The amendment by Sens. John Boozman (R-AR) and Jon Tester (D-MT) would lift the current ban on private banks and companies offering credit for agricultural exports to Cuba.
U.S. agriculture has found itself at a distinct disadvantage compared to its competitors who offer credit to Cuba. The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba reminded the Senate that as recently as 2008 the United States was exporting $700 million in agricultural products to Cuba annually. In 2015, U.S. sales were under $200 million. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.