WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the chief author of the bipartisan bill lifting the trade embargo restrictions against Cuba, issued the following statement regarding the Administration’s decision to ease travel and commerce restrictions with the country:

“This announcement is an important step toward bringing the United States’ relationship with Cuba into the 21st century. The next step is for Congress to pass my bipartisan bill to lift the over fifty-year embargo so that we can boost U.S. exports and allow Cubans greater access to American goods."

The changes announced today will remove financing restrictions for most types of already authorized exports, amend regulations to increase those exports, and further facilitate already authorized travel.

Klobuchar is leading the bipartisan Freedom to Export to Cuba Act—which currently has 22 Senate cosponsors. The bill lifts the current embargo and allows more U.S. goods to be exported to Cuba. The bill would eliminate the legal barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba, boosting job creation and exports. It does not repeal provisions of current law that address human rights in Cuba or that allow individuals and businesses to pursue claims against the Cuban government. Klobuchar attended the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba with Secretary of State John Kerry in August. She also recently testified before the International Trade Commission to highlight the benefits of lifting the trade embargo with Cuba.