Wyden introduced a bill in the Senate this week, the U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2017, that 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. Further, it would normalize trade relations with the country.
It was co-sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tom Udall (D-NM), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
“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.”
He said President Trump’s recent imposition of new restrictions on Cuba reverts to a failed policy of isolation that has harmed the Cuban people and the U.S. economy.
The International Trade Commission found in 2016 that easing U.S. restrictions on trade and business with Cuba could increase U.S. exports by at least $1.4 billion annually in the next five years.
“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,” Wyden added.