WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) issued the statement below following the Biden administration’s announcement of new measures to expand U.S.-Cuba relations.

“U.S.-Cuba policy has been defined for far too long by conflicts of the past, instead of looking to the future. I am glad the Biden administration is moving beyond the failed policy of isolation with measures to support the Cuban people, including raising the remittance cap, allowing more Cubans to join their families in the United States, and spurring the growth of Cuba’s private sector by allowing greater access to U.S. internet services. I am encouraged by this announcement and look forward to working with the administration as it implements these changes.

“In addition to the steps outlined by the administration, I also urge my colleagues to support my bipartisan legislation to lift the Cuba trade embargo so we can pave the way for new economic opportunities for the people of both nations. It is past time to open the door to Cuba’s export market and enable American manufacturers and farmers to compete on a level playing field with our competitors abroad.”

In May of 2021, Klobuchar and Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT)  introduced the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act, which would eliminate the legal barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba, boosting U.S. exports and allowing Cubans greater access to American goods. This legislation does not repeal portions of law that address human rights or property claims against the Cuban government.

Cuba relies on agriculture imports to feed the 11 million people who live in Cuba and the approximately 4 million tourists who visited in 2019, prior to the pandemic. The U.S. International Trade Commission found that if restrictions on trade with Cuba had been lifted, exports like wheat, rice, corn, and soybeans could increase by 166% within five years to a total of about $800 million.

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