Commerce expected to release Cuba business regs today | TSLN.com

Commerce expected to release Cuba business regs today

Arkansas-based Riceland Foods could have a sales office, Sysco could provide food products to independent restaurants. and Illinois-based John Deere could have a showroom under new regulations on U.S. firms doing business with Cuba expected to be released today by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Security and Industry, the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council said late Thursday.

The rule amends the Export Administration regulations, most of which have to do with nonagricultural businesses, but there are some agricultural provisions.

The 27 pages of regulations "would permit the most comprehensive trade and investment changes to the United States relationship with the Republic of Cuba in decades," U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council President John Kavulich told The Hagstrom Report in an email.

"This is a legacy builder… and will create for the Republic of Cuba the type of pressure that will be challenging to manage," Kavulich said.

"United States companies will continue to be used as bait, but now the Republic of Cuba will need to reciprocate or risk a lessening of interest by the United States business community," he said.

"The new regulations will authorize some entities to engage with Republic of Cuba government-operated companies; others will need focus upon the 200-plus categories of licensed independent businesses. United States companies will be permitted to provide loans and to extend lease payment terms for authorized products. United States companies will be permitted to hire Republic of Cuba nationals as employees," Kavulich added.

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The regulations were sent to the Office of Management and Budget on September 7.

Other companies expected to be able to increase operations include Microsoft, Fedex, UPS and United Airlines, Kavulich said.

–the Hagstrom Report