Yesterday, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the chief author of the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act, continued her pro-Cuba support by highlighting the agreement between the US and Cuba to resume commercial air travel.
She said, “Securing commercial flights between the United States and Cuba will make it easier for Americans to seek travel and commerce opportunities on the island after more than 50 years of isolation. This announcement is an important step in modernizing our relationship with Cuba. The next step is for Congress to pass my bipartisan bill to lift the fifty-three-year-old 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 22 Senate cosponsors. The bill repeals or amends current laws restricting trade with Cuba, including:
The prohibition on assistance to Cuba, and the President’s authority for the embargo on Cuba, under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 are eliminated.
The President’s authority to continue direct restrictions on trade with Cuba under the Trading with the Enemy Act is eliminated, and any related regulations are no longer effective.
The Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 is amended to eliminate:
- presidential authority to impose sanctions against Cuban trading partners,
- restrictions on transactions between U.S.-owned or controlled firms and Cuba,
- limitations on direct shipping between Cuban and U.S. ports, and
- restrictions on remittances.
The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 is amended to eliminate:
- the enforcement of an economic embargo of Cuban provisions, and
- the prohibition on indirect financing of Cuba.
The Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 is amended to:
- remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism subject to agricultural and medical export restrictions; and
- repeal the prohibition on the U.S. entry of merchandise that is of Cuban origin, is or has been located in or transported from or through Cuba, or is made or derived in whole or in part of any article which is the growth, produce, or manufacture of Cuba.
“It’s the only country where we have an embargo like this,” said Klobuchar in a statement made in August 2015. “Where basically American businesses and American workers are banned from doing business and selling American goods in Cuba except for certain humanitarian exemptions. And that’s what my bill does, is change that.”
Klobuchar also co-sponsored legislation to lift the Cuba travel ban.