WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to eliminate group “people-to-people” educational travel to Cuba, including a ban to prohibit cruise ships from stopping there. Organized tour groups on cruise ships are the most common way U.S. citizens travel to the island.

“Fifty-five years of isolating Cuba has not advanced our interests and has disadvantaged American businesses and farmers. We need to be expanding engagement with Cuba and building on the progress we’ve made, not returning to the policies of the past. America is at its best when we are innovating, making things, and exporting to the world—we should be encouraging, not discouraging engagement with Cuba.”

For years, Klobuchar has fought to open the door to business with Cuba. In February, Klobuchar reintroduced the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act with Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to lift the Cuba trade embargo. The bipartisan legislation would eliminate the legal barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba and pave the way for new economic opportunities for American businesses and farmers by boosting U.S. exports and allow Cubans greater access to American goods. Klobuchar also supported an amendment in the 2018 Farm Bill to allow U.S. agricultural producers to use two U.S. export promotion programs for agricultural exports to Cuba.