Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced the U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2017 to repeal outdated sanctions on Cuba and establish normal trade relations with the island nation.
Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., co-sponsored the legislation.
“It is well past time for the United States to abandon the failed policy of trying to isolate Cuba,” Wyden said. “Decades of experience have proven the embargo will never improve the lives of the Cuban people. Instead, this policy only serves to shut U.S. exporters out of a natural market for American agricultural and manufactured goods.
“With his recent imposition of new restrictions, President Trump presented one vision of that relationship – one that looks backwards and reverts to a failed policy of isolation that has done nothing to improve the lives of the Cuban people and has harmed the American economy. This bill presents an alternative vision – one that looks to the future and at fostering the exchange of ideas and commerce between the two countries.”
The U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2017 would repeal the major statutes that codify sanctions against Cuba, including the Helms-Burton Act and the Cuban Democracy Act, as well as other provisions that impact trade, investment, and travel with Cuba. It would also establish normal trade relations with the country.
The International Trade Commission found in 2016 that easing U.S. restrictions on trade and business with Cuba could increase U.S. exports by $1.4 billion annually in the next five years, with even bigger gains possible.