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Sens. Moran, Marshall Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Lift Trade Embargo to Cuba

The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would create new economic opportunities for Kansas businesses and farmers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.) joined their colleagues Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in introducing bipartisan legislation to lift the Cuba trade embargo. The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would eliminate legal barriers preventing Americans from doing business in Cuba and create new economic opportunities by boosting U.S. exports and allowing Cubans greater access to American goods. The legislation repeals key provisions of existing laws that block Americans from doing business in Cuba, but keeps in place laws that address human rights or property claims against the Cuban government.

“The unilateral trade embargo on Cuba blocks our own farmers, ranchers and manufacturers from selling into a market only 90 miles from our shoreline, while foreign competitors benefit at our expense,” said Sen. Moran. “This legislation will expand market opportunities for U.S. producers by allowing them to compete on a level playing field with other countries. It is time to amend our own laws to give U.S. producers fair access to export to consumers in Cuba.”

“I’m proud to sign onto the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act,” said Sen. Marshall. “It’s important for the United States to boost our economic opportunities and increase market access for American-made goods. Repealing the current legal restrictions and trade embargo on Cuba allows for Kansas farmers, ranchers and manufacturers to expand their businesses to Cuba and opens the door to a large export market, while leaving in place measures to address human rights abuses.”

“I have long pushed to reform our relationship with Cuba, which for decades has been defined by conflicts of the past instead of looking toward the future,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “By ending the trade embargo with Cuba once and for all, our bipartisan legislation will turn the page on the failed policy of isolation while creating a new export market and generating economic opportunities for American businesses.”

“We can expand opportunities for American businesses and farmers to trade with Cuba while still holding the Cuban government accountable for its human rights record,” said Sen. Murphy. “This bipartisan legislation is a smart fix that will create American jobs and benefit the Cuban people.”

“It is long past time for us to normalize relations with Cuba,” said Sen. Warren. “This legislation takes important steps to remove barriers for U.S. trade and relations between our two countries and moves us in the right direction by increasing economic opportunities for Americans and the Cuban people.”

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.

Cuba relies on agricultural imports to feed the 11 million people who live there 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 percent within five years to a total of about $800 million.

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