INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Alejo

                        JANUARY 5, 2015

   Relative to the Cuban embargo.


   AJR 3, as introduced, Alejo. Cuban embargo.
   This measure would urge the Congress of the United States to
support President Obama's initiative to normalize diplomatic
relations with Cuba and to move forward with legislation to lift the
economic embargo on Cuba.
   Fiscal committee: no.

   WHEREAS, The ability of American companies to do business with
Cuba is curtailed by the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (31 C.F.R.
515), which were issued in 1963, that lay out a comprehensive set of
economic sanctions, including a prohibition on most financial
transactions with the island; and
   WHEREAS, These sanctions were made stronger with the Cuban
Democracy Act of 1992 (22 U.S.C. sec. 6001 et seq.) and the Cuban
Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996, which is
commonly referred to as the Helms-Burton Act. Most significantly, the
Helms-Burton Act codified the embargo and has had a lasting impact
on U.S. policy options toward Cuba by imposing economic sanctions,
travel restrictions, and international legal penalties; and
   WHEREAS, Prior to the embargo, the United States accounted for
nearly 70 percent of Cuba's international trade. Cuba was the seventh
largest market for U.S. exporters particularly for American farm
producers, and 84 percent of all food consumed in Cuba was imported
from the United States; and
   WHEREAS, Despite the fact that the United States and Cuba are
natural trading partners, the embargo forced Cuba to seek out new
sources for its domestic consumption at the expense of U.S. exports
and American jobs; and
   WHEREAS, According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, the
embargo's annual cost to the U.S. economy ranges from $1.2 to $3.6
billion and disproportionately affects U.S. small businesses who lack
the transportation and financial infrastructure to skirt the
embargo; and
   WHEREAS, These restrictions result in real reductions in income
and employment, negatively impacting U.S. small businesses; and
   WHEREAS, Allies of the United States have taken a disproportionate
share of the market of an island that is only 90 miles from our
shores and is a natural market for U.S. goods and services; and
   WHEREAS, California is currently the eighth largest economy in the
world but exported only $122,000 in agricultural products to Cuba in
2013, approximately .00068 percent of the $18 billion of
agricultural products exported from California each year; and
   WHEREAS, California's agricultural growers face great
opportunities by moving to Cuba to aid in the development of
agricultural technology, innovation, and investment; and
   WHEREAS, California is the high-tech capital of the nation and is
well positioned to export telecommunications infrastructure to Cuba;
   WHEREAS, California pharmaceutical companies and devicemakers will
be able to sell their products in Cuba, a new market hungry for its
products; and
   WHEREAS, California healthcare providers can benefit immensely
from renewed Cuban relationships; and
   WHEREAS, Acknowledging that the embargo has not produced any
positive economic or political outcomes in Cuba or the United States,
and that lifting the embargo will better serve California's
interests and improve the lives of Cubans and their families; now,
therefore, be it
   Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
California, jointly, That the Legislature of the State of California
urges the Congress of the United States to support President Obama's
initiative to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and to, with
all deliberate speed, move forward with legislation to lift the
economic embargo on Cuba; and be it further
   Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of
this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United
States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the
Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, to the Majority
Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, and to each
Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the
United States.