OTHER VIEWS: Minnesota Could Benefit From Trade With Cuba
But only if a trade embargo – a vestige of a past reality, promulgated 60 years ago in 1961 – is lifted. This would allow business, tourism and more to flow between the United States and our neighbor just 90 miles south.
As diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States have thawed for at least seven years, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota this week reintroduced a bill to lift the embargo, her office said. Far from the president’s signature, the measure nevertheless enjoys bipartisan support, notably Republican US Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas, a cosponsor.
“Instead of looking to the future, US-Cuban politics have been defined for too long by the conflicts of the past,” Klobuchar said in the statement. “As we work to rebuild our economy after the pandemic, lifting the trade embargo will open the door to a large export market and create jobs in the United States. It’s time to turn the page on the failure of the isolation policy by passing our bipartisan legislation to end the embargo once and for all. “
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It is important to note that while Klobuchar’s bill repeals key provisions that have long prevented Americans from doing business in Cuba, it would not nullify parts of the law that deal with human rights violations. ‘man there or property claims against the Cuban government, according to the statement. This distinction makes the bill similar to Klobuchar’s bill first introduced in 2015.
Even with legitimate and lingering human rights concerns, Cuba’s refusal to embrace democracy, and more importantly, to revive business, tourism and trade relations between our two nations is a boon to the country. Minnesota. Cuba relies on agricultural imports to feed its 11 million inhabitants and its 4 million annual tourists (when there is no pandemic). And Cargill, based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, supplies food, agriculture, and other products, for example.
The U.S. International Trade Commission has determined that if restrictions on trade with Cuba are lifted, U.S. exports of products like wheat, rice, corn and soybeans could increase 166 percent within five years for reach a total of about $ 800 million.
The thaw between the United States and Cuba began unexpectedly in 2014 with a prisoner exchange. A year later, Congressional measures to advance the cause were joined by an announcement from the White House that a Cuban embassy would open in Washington and a U.S. embassy in Havana. In May 2015, the Minnesota Orchestra became the first from the United States to travel and perform in Cuba in over 50 years. Klobuchar was among the politicians visiting Cuba in 2015.
“This bill would end a misguided and failed policy of unilateral sanctions that harm the Cuban people and do not change American businesses and American workers,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, of D-Vermont, also a co-sponsor. of freedom to export to Cuba last week Take action, the statement said. “A tiny vocal minority stubbornly opposes the disappearance (of the trade embargo). The consequence, in addition to blocking American exports and revenues for American farmers and manufacturers, is that our competitors (China in particular) are reaping the rewards of our myopia. “
There are opportunities to be seized with the lifting of the trade embargo. For the benefit of Minnesota, our nation, Cuban citizens and others, they can be seized – with concerns about human rights, democracy, etc.
This other perspective is taken by the editorial board of our sister publication, the Duluth News Tribune.