Senators introduce The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2017
The legislation repeals the Cuban trade embargo.
Jun 06, 2017
A bipartisan coalition of senators have introduced legislation, The
Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2017, to eliminate legal barriers for
Americans doing business in Cuba.
U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Patrick Leahy
(D-VT), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) led the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers
who introduced the legislation to lift the Cuban trade embargo.
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
"For far too long, U.S.-Cuba policy has been defined by the conflicts of
the past instead of the realities of today and the possibilities for the
future," Klobuchar said. "More than 50 years of isolating an island just
90 miles from our border has not secured our interests and has
disadvantaged American business owners and farmers. This bipartisan
legislation would benefit the people of both our countries by boosting
American exports and creating opportunity for the Cuban people. We need
to turn the page on the failed policy of isolation and build on the
progress we have made to open up engagement with Cuba by ending the
embargo once and for all."
"Over the last 50 years, our strategy of isolating Cuba hasn't been very
successful," Enzi said. "This bipartisan legislation would lift the
travel restriction to Cuba, providing new opportunities for American
businesses, farmers and ranchers. But trade is very powerful. It can be
more than just the flow of goods, but also the flow of ideas – ideas of
freedom and democracy are the keys to positive change in any nation. It
is time we moved on from the failed ideas of the past and tried a new
approach to Cuba."
"Decades after the end of the Cold War we continue to impose punitive
sanctions against Cuba, a tiny island neighbor that poses no threat to
us," said Leahy. After more than half a century, the embargo has
achieved none of its objectives. President Obama took a courageous and
pragmatic step in opening diplomatic relations with Cuba. It is now up
to Congress to end the embargo, which is used by the Cuban government to
justify its repressive policies, and by foreign companies to avoid
competing with U.S. businesses that are shut out of the market. Lifting
the embargo will put more food on the plates of the Cuban people, allow
them to access quality U.S. products, and spur reforms in Cuba's
economy, all while benefiting American companies."
"While there are no guarantees, engaging with Cuba economically is more
likely to nudge Cuba toward democracy than a half century of trying to
isolate the island," Flake said. "It's long past time we move ahead."
Cuba relies on agriculture imports to feed the 11 million people who
live on Cuba and the 3.5 million tourists who visit each year. This
represents a $2 billion opportunity for American farmers annually. The
Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2017 repeals 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.
Source: Sen. Mike Enzi
Source: Senators introduce The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2017 -