**Click here to listen to Klobuchar on NPR about how reopening of Cuban embassy is boon for U.S. businesses**

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today released the following statement in response to the State Department’s announcement that the United States and Cuba will reopen their embassies:

“After more than 50 years, embassies in Cuba and the United States will once again be open for business. The world has changed since the last time our two countries had full diplomatic ties—TV shows have gone from black and white to color to on demand, and our phones from rotary to mobile to smart. It’s well past time that we bring our relationship with 11 million people 90 miles off of our shore into the 21st century. Having a fully equipped and staffed embassy in Havana will help advance U.S. interests by supporting the expansion of commerce and helping us engage the Cuban people. My hope is that this historic step will pave the way for even further progress, including passing my bipartisan bill to lift the trade embargo so that we can boost U.S. exports and allow Cubans greater access to American goods.”

Klobuchar is leading the bipartisan Freedom to Export to Cuba Act--which currently has 17 cosponsors--to lift the current embargo, which will allow 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 recently testified before the International Trade Commission to highlight the benefits of lifting the trade embargo and traveled to Cuba to meet with agriculture and export officials to identify ways to open up new economic opportunities for businesses and farmers in the United States. Klobuchar is also a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation to lift the Cuba travel ban.