Bipartisan bill – cosponsored by Senators Enzi, Stabenow, Flake, Leahy, and Durbin – would eliminate the legal barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba
Legislation would pave the way for new economic opportunities for American businesses and farmers by boosting U.S. exports and allowing Cubans greater access to American goods
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today led a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to introduce major legislation to lift the Cuba trade embargo. The bipartisan bill – cosponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) – would eliminate the legal barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba. The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would 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. The legislation repeals key provisions of previous laws that block Americans from doing business in Cuba, but does not repeal portions of law that address human rights or property claims against the Cuban government.
“It’s time to the turn the page on our Cuba policy,” Klobuchar said. “Fifty years of the embargo have not secured our interests in Cuba and have disadvantaged American businesses by restricting commerce with a market of 11 million people just 90 miles from our shores. There are many issues in our relationship with Cuba that must be addressed, but this legislation to lift the embargo will begin to open up new opportunities for American companies, boost job creation and exports, and help improve the quality of life for the Cuban people.”
The legislation has been endorsed by the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba.
“We appreciate Sen. Klobuchar’s leadership to advance this bipartisan bill, modernize U.S. policy toward Cuba and boost opportunities for American agriculture,” said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Cargill and Chair of USACC. “Ending the embargo will enable our agriculture sector to work in partnership with Cuba and the Cuban people, develop a meaningful trading relationship and create jobs across many sectors of our own economy.”
The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act repeals the current legal restrictions against doing business with Cuba, including the original 1961 authorization for establishing the trade embargo; subsequent laws that required enforcement of the embargo; and other restrictive statutes that prohibit transactions between U.S.-owned or controlled firms and Cuba, and limitations on direct shipping between U.S. and Cuban ports. It does not repeal human rights provisions or provisions relating to property claims against the Cuban government.
The Cuba travel ban would be lifted under the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, which was sponsored by Senator Flake and cosponsored by Senators Leahy, Moran, Durbin, Boozman, Udall, Enzi, Whitehouse, and Klobuchar.