Moran, Marshall support bipartisan measure repealing Cuba trade restrictions
TOPEKA — The two Republican U.S. senators from Kansas joined three Democrats as sponsors of legislation repealing federal laws restricting trade with Cuba while retaining provisions aimed at human rights and property claims against the Cuban government.
U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall said the time had come to relax limitations on direct shipping between U.S. and Cuban ports as well as other features of a trade embargo denying U.S. producers access to consumers in Cuba.
The U.S. International Trade Commission found that if restrictions on trade with Cuba were lifted the annual export of wheat, rice, corn and soybeans could increase to about $800 million annually. Cuba relies on agricultural imports to feed the 11 million people who live there.
“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,” Moran said.
Moran and Marshall joined with Democratic U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as sponsors of the trade legislation.
“It’s important for the United States to boost our economic opportunities and increase market access for American-made goods,” Marshall said. “Repealing the current legal restrictions and trade embargo on Cuba … opens the door to a large export market, while leaving in place measures to address human rights abuses.”
Klobuchar said repeal of the embargo would “turn the page on the failed policy of isolation while creating a new export market and generating economic opportunities for American businesses.”
“It is long past time for us to normalize relations with Cuba,” Warren said. “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.”