When is an embargo not an embargo? The Specialty Steel Industry of North America urges Washington to either enforce the embargo on Cuban nickel or repeal the sanctions

Aug 01, 2010 | 05:12 AM | David Hartquist

Cuba is one of the world's most important sources of nickel. The island nation has the second-largest base reserves of nickel, with an estimated 29 million tons, or about 15 percent of the global total. Cuba's nickel deposits also are considered to be of the highest quality, with an average nickel content of 90 percent.

U.S. companies, however, are barred from accessing Cuban nickel or importing products derived from that nickel pursuant to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, which implement the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The regulations prohibit all persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction from transacting in, purchasing, importing or transporting any products made or derived from "any article of the growth, produce or manufacture of Cuba."

Nickel-bearing materials are specifically barred from importation into the U.S. without appropriate documentation, reflecting the importance of nickel production to the Cuban economy and government. As the country's largest export, nickel plays a crucial role in the Cuban economy and serves as an important source of hard currency.....

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