Legislative Priorities

As support for normalizing relations with Cuba continues to grow across the country and in Congress, Engage Cuba believes that the key to dismantling the embargo is by employing an incremental legislative approach. Engage Cuba will continue to advocate for bipartisan bills that chip away at travel and trade restrictions until we fully lift the embargo.

 

Private FINANCING FOR U.S. AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS TO CUBA

The bipartisan Cuba Agricultural Exports Act/Agricultural Export Expansion Act would remove restrictions on offering private credit for the export of agricultural commodities to Cuba. In 2000, Congress passed the Trade Sanctions and Reform Act which allowed for U.S. farmers to export agricultural commodities to Cuba, but prohibited producers from extending credit to Cuba. Since Congress has already allowed for the export of food, this legislation would simply allow American farmers to compete in Cuba's $2 billion import market.

  • H.R.525 was introduced by Rep. Crawford (R-AR) on Jan. 13, 2017. 
  • S. 275, the Agricultural Export Expansion Act, was introduced on Feb. 2, 2017 by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and John Boozman (R-AR).
 
 

Freedom to Travel to Cuba

The bipartisan Freedom of Americans to Travel to Cuba Act would lift restrictions on traveling to Cuba for tourist purposes. While the Obama Administration has eased travel restrictions, Cuba remains the only country in the world to which the U.S. government prohibits Americans from traveling for tourist activities. The bill repeals the sections of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 that prohibited tourist travel to Cuba and would remove restrictions on traveling to Cuba for tourist purposes.

  • H.R.351 was introduced Jan. 6, 2017 by Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Jim McGovern (D-MA).
  • S.1287 was introduced May 25, 2017 by lead sponsors Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
 

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LIFTING THE EMBARGO

The bipartisan Cuba Trade Act permits private-sector industries in the United States to export goods and services to Cuba, effectively lifting the embargo. The Cuba Trade Act would permit private-sector industries in the United States to export goods and services to Cuba. But it includes additional language to ensure that U.S. taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook if the Cubans default on lines of credit extended by U.S. banks and businesses.

 

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INVESTING IN CUBAN TELECOM

Codifies the regulatory changes made by President Obama to permit more telecom investment in Cuba and aims to bring certainty to US telecom companies interested in investing in infrastructure to assist Cubans who have not been able to participate in the digital economy and have had limited access to technology for business development.