Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill and Proclamation Relating to the Cuban Sugar Quota.
I HAVE today approved legislation enacted by the Congress which authorizes the President to determine Cuba's sugar quota for the balance of calendar year 1960 and for the three-month period ending March 31, 1961. In conformity with this legislation I have signed a proclamation which, in the national interest, establishes the Cuban sugar quota for the balance of 1960 at 39,752 short tons, plus the sugar certified for entry prior to July 3, 1960. This represents a reduction of 700,000 short tons from the original 1960 Cuban quota of 3,119,655 short tons.
This deficit will be filled by purchases from other free world suppliers.
The importance of the United States Government's action relating to sugar quota legislation makes it desirable, I believe, to set forth the reasons which led the Congress to authorize and the Executive to take this action in the national interest.
Normally about one-third of our total sugar supply comes from Cuba. Despite every effort on our part to maintain traditionally friendly relations, the Government of Cuba is now following a course which raises serious question as to whether the United States can, in the long-run, continue to rely upon that country for such large quantities of sugar. I believe that we would fail in our obligation to our people if we did not take steps to reduce our reliance for a major food product upon a nation which has embarked upon a deliberate policy of hostility toward the United States.
The Government of Cuba has committed itself to purchase substantial quantities of goods from the Soviet Union under barter arrangements. It has chosen to undertake to pay for these goods with sugar--traded at prices well below those which it has obtained in the United States. The inescapable conclusion is that Cuba has embarked on a course of action to commit steadily increasing amounts of its sugar crop to trade with the Communist bloc, thus making its future ability to fill the sugar needs of the United States ever more uncertain.
It has been with the most genuine regret that this Government has been compelled to alter the heretofore mutually beneficial sugar trade between the United States and Cuba. Under the system which has existed up to this time, the people of Cuba, particularly those who labor in the cane fields and in the mills, have benefited from the maintenance of an assured market in the United States, where Cuban sugar commands a price well above that which could be obtained in the world market. These benefits also reached many others whose livelihood was related to the sugar industry on the island.
The American people will always maintain their friendly feelings for the people of Cuba. We look forward to the day when the Cuban Government will once again allow this friendship to be fully expressed in the relations between our two countries.
Note: The act (Sugar Act Amendments) is Public Law 86-592 (74 Stat. 330). Proclamation 3355 "Determination of Cuban Sugar Quota" is published in the federal Register (25 F.R. 6414). See also Item 373.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill and Proclamation Relating to the Cuban Sugar Quota. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235042