A new piece of legislation, the Cuba Trade Act of 2015, was introduced in Congress Tuesday
that aims to lift the Cuba embargo and allow for U.S. businesses in the private sector to trade freely with Cuba, while prohibiting taxpayer funds to be used on promotion or development of this new market.
The legislation was introduced by Congressman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), along with Congressmen Abraham, Amash, Boustany, Ribble and Sanford.
“Today marks a new and exciting chapter for the U.S. - Cuba relationship,” Emmer said. “The American people overwhelmingly support lifting the Cuba embargo. Along with the Cuban people, Americans are ready for a fresh start and new opportunities for increasing trade, advancing the cause of human rights and ushering in direly needed reforms. This legislation will improve our position within the region, giving the U.S. a seat at the table and increased leverage as we support political transformations beginning to occur in Cuba. The time has come for a change in our policy towards Cuba, and I am ready to work with my colleagues in Congress on policies that are beneficial to both the American and Cuban people.”
“The United States
and Cuba have taken historic actions this year to set our countries on a more productive path forward for citizens of both nations and turn the page on the outdated 50 year policy of isolation,” Castor said. “Today, I am proud to join Rep. Emmer in taking the next step in introducing legislation to lift the embargo. This important step forward will advance human rights and lift the fortunes of families and entrepreneurs on both sides of the Florida straits
. Lifting the embargo and reestablishing historic trade ties with Cuba will be a boost to our port and local small businesses in Tampa Bay. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance this policy of engagement that will not only provide an economic boost here at home, but will also help the Cuban economy and its people flourish.”