Six senators introduced a bill, dubbed the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act, to end the decades-old trade embargo with Cuba. “It is time to turn the page on our Cuba policy,” said lead sponsor Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota in a press release.  Klobuchar was joined by Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming; Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan; Jeff Flake, R-Arizona; Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont; and Dick Durbin, D-Illinois.  The bill would pave the way for American companies to do business in the island nation.

The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, of which NCC is a member, urged “quick action on this bill to open this new economic opportunity for U.S. farmers, ranchers and growers as soon as possible.”

“We appreciate Sen. Klobuchar’s leadership to advance this bipartisan bill, modernize U.S. policy toward Cuba and boost opportunities for American agriculture,” said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Cargill and Chair of USACC. “Ending the embargo will enable our agriculture sector to work in partnership with Cuba and the Cuban people, develop a meaningful trading relationship and create jobs across many sectors of our own economy.”

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. It does not repeal human rights provisions or provisions relating to property claims against the Cuban government.