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SF 599

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
1.1A resolution
1.2urging the President and Congress to end trade, financial, and travel restrictions
1.3to Cuba.
1.4WHEREAS, the relationship between the United States and Cuba has been marked by
1.5tension and confrontation; and
1.6WHEREAS, furthering this hostility is the 40-year-old United States trade embargo against
1.7the island nation, the longest standing such embargo in modern history; and
1.8WHEREAS, the United States Congress approved the 2000 Trade Sanctions Reform and
1.9Export Enhancement Act, which provides for the limited sale of food, medicine, medical supplies,
1.10and agricultural products from the United States to Cuba; and
1.11WHEREAS, recent additional restrictions on specified payment procedures will
1.12substantially curtail existing levels of limited trade; and
1.13WHEREAS, Cuba has imported over $1 billion of food products and agricultural
1.14commodities from the United States during the past five years to support and feed its 11 million
1.15people; and
1.16WHEREAS, import volume is expected to grow significantly in coming years as Cuba
1.17continues its economic recovery, following the withdrawal of subsidies from the former Soviet
1.18Union in the last decade; and
1.19WHEREAS, Minnesota is ideally positioned to benefit from the market opportunities
1.20that free trade with Cuba would provide, as trade restrictions succeed only in driving sales to
1.21competitors in other countries that have no such restrictions; and
2.1WHEREAS, agricultural production in Minnesota is valued at more than $9 billion
2.2annually; and
2.3WHEREAS, Minnesota is a leader in the overall value of agricultural exports at more than
2.4$2.5 billion annually; and
2.5WHEREAS, under an ideal trade scenario, Minnesota farmers could enjoy at least $45
2.6million in new exports annually; the state's total economic benefit would be nearly $92 million,
2.7including 900 new jobs; and
2.8WHEREAS, in recent years, Cuba has developed important pharmaceutical products,
2.9specifically a new meningitis B vaccine that has virtually eliminated the disease in Cuba; such
2.10products have the potential to protect Americans against diseases that continue to threaten large
2.11populations around the world; and
2.12WHEREAS, Cuba's potential oil production and reserves have attracted the interest of
2.13numerous other countries who have been helping Cuba develop its existing wells and search for
2.14new reserves; Cuba's oil output has increased well over 400 percent over the last decade; and
2.15WHEREAS, the United States' trade, financial, and travel restrictions against Cuba hinder
2.16Minnesota's export of agricultural and food products, its ability to import essential energy
2.17products, its ability to treat Minnesotans' illnesses, and the right of Minnesotans to travel freely;
2.19BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it supports national
2.20efforts to remove all trade, financial, and travel restrictions to Cuba and urges the President and
2.21Congress to take all necessary steps to see that this end is accomplished.
2.22BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota is
2.23directed to prepare copies of this memorial and transmit them to the President of the United
2.24States, the President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of
2.25the United States House of Representatives, the chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture,
2.26Nutrition, and Forestry, the chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, and Minnesota's
2.27Senators and Representatives in Congress.