April 2, 2007
News Release 07-036
Inv. No. 332-489
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC TO INVESTIGATE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF U.S. TRADE AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS WITH CUBA ON U.S. AGRICULTURE EXPORTS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC or Commission) has launched an investigation to report on the effects of U.S. trade and travel restrictions with Cuba on U.S. exports of agricultural, fish, and forest products to that country. U.S. exports to Cuba of these products amounted to $337 million in 2006.

The investigation, U.S. Agricultural Sales to Cuba: Certain Economic Effects of U.S. Restrictions, was requested by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance in a letter received on March 16, 2007.

In its request letter, the Committee noted that it wished to gain a better understanding of the economic effects on U.S. agricultural sales to Cuba of statutory and administrative restrictions related to trade with and travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide an overview of recent and current trends in Cuban purchases of agricultural, fish and forestry products, including identification of major supplying countries, products, and market segments; analyze the effects that U.S. restrictions relating to export financing terms and travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens may have had or currently have on Cuban purchases of U.S. agricultural, fish, and forestry products; and estimate U.S. sales of agricultural, fish, and forestry products under three scenarios: (i) U.S. restrictions affecting agricultural exports are removed; (ii) U.S. restrictions on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens are lifted; and (iii) U.S. restrictions affecting agricultural exports are removed and U.S. restrictions on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens are lifted.

The ITC will submit its report to the Committee by June 29, 2007.

The Commission will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, 2007. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed with the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, and must be received no later than 5:15 p.m. on April 24, 2007.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission at the above address and should be filed at the earliest practical date, but no later than 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2007. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be made available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means. The resulting reports convey the Commissions' objective findings and independent analyses on the subject investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the ITC submits its finding and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigations reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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