Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation [Updated January 20, 2006] [open pdf - 97KB]
From the Summary: "Falling agricultural exports and declining commodity prices in the late 1990s led farm groups and agribusiness firms to urge Congress to pass legislation exempting food 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. [Public Law] 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. […] In the 109th Congress, H.R. 719/S. 328, H.R. 1339/S. 634, S.Amdt. 281 and S.Amdt. 282 to S. 600, and identical House and Senate provisions in H.R. 3058 seek to respond to an OFAC [Office of Foreign Assets Control] rule which took effect in March 2005 defining 'payment of cash in advance' as payment that must be received by the U.S. exporter prior to agricultural products being shipped from the U.S. port rather than before title and control is transferred to the Cuban buyer. Fearing lost sales, opposition to this rule by farm groups and some Members has led to ongoing debate on this issue. Responding to congressional pressure, OFAC on July 29, 2005, slightly revised this rule to allow for goods to be shipped from a U.S. port once a third-country bank receives payment for the U.S. exporter from the Cuban purchaser. In legislative action to date, conferees dropped the provision in H.R. 3058 prohibiting implementation of OFAC's initial rule, in light of a presidential veto threat."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10061