Why should I join the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association?
If your company is involved in the current trade with Cuba in agricultural and medical products, joining the USCTA represents a vehicle for you to have a voice in efforts to protect and expand this current trade. We now have seen efforts by the Administration to curtail such trade and resultant steps by Associations and others to support efforts in Congress to turn back these changes. Through membership in the USCTA, you will be informed on a regular basis as to any and all efforts by the Administration and Congress which impact your business with Cuba and your voice will be heard and counted.
If your company is prohibited from doing business in Cuba now, the Association will provide you with regular information as to any and all developments and efforts to expand the potential for business. Through Association newsletters and email alerts, you will be able to prepare for any eventual opening for trade by your company. For you especially, the efforts expected in the 2005 Congress to open up travel to Cuba will be important. The Association and its members will strongly support such efforts on your behalf.
What is legal status of the association?
The U.S.-Cuba Trade Association (USCTA) has been organized as a not-for-profit District of Columbia 501c6 corporation. Under the advice and with the assistance of Arnold & Porter, the prestigious Washington, D.C. international law firm, USCTA will comply totally with any and all IRS regulations governing its organization and management. Under the direction of its Board of Directors, USCTA will operate with total transparency and all its deliberations and board actions will be available to any member for inspection upon request in order to avoid even the appearance of any conflict of interest or other inadvertent transgressions. The U.S.-Cuba Trade Association will conduct its activities on behalf of its members in total compliance with all U.S. Government regulations governing bi-lateral relations with Cuba and does not and will not represent or work on behalf of the Government of Cuba or any other outside entity.
Aren’t there other organizations and Associations doing the same thing?
There are many organizations formed and working, but there is no association or organization aimed specifically at promoting business and trade with Cuba through lobbying, meetings, conferences, and other events.. On the pro-embargo side there is the Cuban Business Council, Cuban-American National Foundation, Committee for a Free Cuba, and others. On the pro-trade and normalization side there have been many as well working on various Cuba related issues such as ATRIP with emphasis on travel; Americans For Humanitarian Trade with Cuba; the Mobile,Alabama-based Cuba Trade Coalition with emphasis on mobilizing the State Departments of Agriculture; the Emergency Coalition to Defend Educational Travel, a new group organized to turn back the regulations limiting travel by Universities; the Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation; and many National and State Associations which work on Cuba issues related to their sector.
Will the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association replace the work of others?
The intention of the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association is to work with others. No company or organization which joins will lose their individual identity nor will USCTA speak on behalf of any single company or member. Each member can and will decide, on its own, how it wants to participate and how it wants its name associated with any USCTA effort. USCTA will make statements consistent with its goals, will ask members to provide testimony or comments on particular issues, and will ask members to sign letters and other expressions of concern. USCTA will align itself with those issues and initiatives which can make a positive contribution to protect and expand trade with Cuba.
Who can join?
Membership will be open to any and all companies and organizations wishing to support the goals and objectives of USCTA. An outreach program will be initiated to bring into membership firms not involved in current trade in agricultural products but which are looking to undertaking other business with Cuba and support the lifting of the embargo for other products and services. The more companies and the more sectors represented will lead to greater influence.