Amended in Assembly May 19, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly Joint ResolutionNo. 3


Introduced by Assembly Member Alejo

January 5, 2015


Assembly Joint Resolution No. 3—Relative to the Cuban embargo.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AJR 3, as amended, 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 tobegin delete lift the economic embargo onend deletebegin insert help increase trade withend insert Cuba.

Fiscal committee: no.

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P1    1WHEREAS, The ability of American companies to do business
2with Cuba is curtailed by the Cuban Assets Control Regulations
3(31 C.F.R. 515), which were issued in 1963, that lay out a
4comprehensive set of economic sanctions, including a prohibition
5on most financial transactions with the island; and

end delete
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6WHEREAS, These sanctions were made stronger with the Cuban
7Democracy Act of 1992 (22 U.S.C. sec. 6001 et seq.) and the
8Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of
91996, which is commonly referred to as the Helms-Burton Act.
10Most significantly, the Helms-Burton Act codified the embargo
11and has had a lasting impact on U.S. policy options toward Cuba
12by imposing economic sanctions, travel restrictions, and
13international legal penalties; and

end delete
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P2    1
WHEREAS, The Obama administration announced new United
2States Department of the Treasury and United States Department
3of Commerce regulations allowing more exports of certain products
4to Cuba; and

end insert
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5
WHEREAS, The United States and Cuba recently signed an
6agreement to restore commercial airline service between both
7countries, which could potentially result in 110 daily flights to and
8from Cuba. According to the United States Embassy in Havana,
9authorized travel to Cuba by United States citizens increased by
10over 50 percent since travel restrictions were eased in December
112014; and

end insert

12WHEREAS, Prior to thebegin delete embargo,end deletebegin insert embargo the United States
13placed on Cuba in 1960,end insert
the United States accounted for nearly
1470 percent of Cuba’s international trade. Cuba was the seventh
15largest market forbegin delete U.S. exportersend deletebegin insert United States exporters,end insert
16 particularly for American farmbegin delete producers, andend deletebegin insert producers.
17Currently,end insert
84 percent of all food consumed in Cubabegin delete was imported
18from the United States;end delete
begin insert is imported;end insert and

19WHEREAS,begin delete Despite the fact that theend deletebegin insert Theend insert United States and
20Cuba are natural trading partners,begin delete the embargo forced Cuba to seek
21out new sources for its domestic consumption at the expense of
22U.S.end delete
begin insert and California stands ready to be a major source for Cuba’s
23domestic consumption, which will result in significant growth in
24the United Statesend insert
exports andbegin insert the creation of moreend insert American jobs;
25and

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26
WHEREAS, A United States International Trade Commission
27report states that small exporters currently avoid the Cuban market
28because of the complexity of the regulations in the Trade Sanctions
29Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA); and

end insert
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30
WHEREAS, Removing the embargo would provide small- and
31medium-sized enterprises with access to a much needed market;
32and

end insert
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33
WHEREAS, Studies on lifting the embargo show a possible
34economic spark of $1.1 billion, $365 million from sales of United
35States goods, and a creation of up to 6,000 American jobs,
36predominantly in agriculture and telecommunications; and

end insert
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37
WHEREAS, In 2000, under the TSRA, Congress began to allow
38the sale of agricultural and medical products to Cuba. In four
39short years, United States exports to Cuba rose from less than $1
P3    1million to $392 million by 2004, with United States agricultural
2products capturing 42 percent of the Cuban market; and

end insert

3WHEREAS,begin insert According to a 2001 study sponsored by the Cuba
4Policy Foundation, the estimated economic impact of expanded
5agricultural exports under the TSRA is $3.6 billion.end insert
According to
6the United States Chamber of Commerce, the embargo’s annual
7cost to thebegin delete U.S.end deletebegin insert United Statesend insert economybegin delete ranges fromend deletebegin insert isend insert $1.2begin delete to $3.6
8billion andend delete
begin insert billion, and the embargoend insert disproportionately affects
9begin delete U.S.end deletebegin insert United Statesend insert small businessesbegin delete whoend deletebegin insert thatend insert lack the transportation
10and financial infrastructure to skirt the embargo; and

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11WHEREAS, These restrictions result in real reductions in
12income and employment, negatively impacting U.S. small
13businesses; and

end delete
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14
WHEREAS, Since 2008, Cuba has undertaken more than 300
15economic reforms designed to encourage enterprise with small
16businesses, and, in 2008, United States exports to Cuba reached
17$718 million, with corn exports estimated at $198 million, followed
18by meat and poultry at $152.6 million and wheat at $135 million;
19and

end insert

20WHEREAS, Allies of the United States have taken a
21disproportionate share of the market of an island that is only 90
22miles from our shores and is a natural market forbegin delete U.S.end deletebegin insert United Statesend insert
23 goods and services; and

24WHEREAS, California is currently the eighth largest economy
25in the world but exported only $122,000 in agricultural products
26to Cuba in 2013, approximately .00068 percent of the $18 billion
27of agricultural products exported from California each year; and

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28
WHEREAS, According to the United States Department of
29Agriculture’s Economic Research Service data for 2013, each
30dollar of agricultural exports stimulated an additional $1.22 in
31business activity, thereby further highlighting the potential for
32creating American jobs through California agricultural exports;
33and

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34WHEREAS, California’s agricultural growers face great
35opportunities by moving to Cuba to aid in the development of
36agricultural technology, innovation, and investment; and

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37
WHEREAS, As Cuba raises its agricultural profile, Cuba will
38need food manufacturing technology and education on effective
39practices that Californian expertise can provide; and

end insert
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P4    1
WHEREAS, California agricultural products will support
2economic mobility by exporting products for middle and rising
3middle classes in Cuba to consume; and

end insert
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4
WHEREAS, As a growing middle class rises, Cuba’s crumbling
5infrastructure will no longer support these communities, and Cuba
6will look to California for construction expertise and equipment,
7which could lead to job growth in these California industries; and

end insert
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8
WHEREAS, The expected growth of infrastructure will allow
9for the spread of telecommunication technology to advance in
10Cuba, where only 5 percent of Cubans have Internet access; and

end insert

11WHEREAS, California is the high-tech capital of the nation and
12is well positioned to export telecommunications infrastructure to
13Cuba; and

14WHEREAS, California pharmaceutical companies andbegin insert medicalend insert
15 devicemakers will be able to sell their products in Cuba, a new
16market hungry for its products; and

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17
WHEREAS, Biotechnology firms will be able to partner with
18California companies on key ventures such as research and
19medical product development in areas focusing on diabetes and
20cancer treatment; and

end insert
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21
WHEREAS, Cuba has already become a leader in the
22biopharmaceutical arena, and its vaccine industry will be able to
23ship more of its high-quality products to California to be
24distributed to underserved populations at lower costs; and

end insert

25WHEREAS, Californiabegin delete healthcareend deletebegin insert health careend insert providers can
26benefit immensely from renewed Cuban relationships; and

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27
WHEREAS, California Latinos are an increasing part of the
28electorate, and increasing economic integration with Latin
29American countries is a natural evolution of who America is
30becoming; and

end insert

31WHEREAS, Acknowledging that thebegin delete embargo has not produced
32any positive economic or political outcomes inend delete
begin insert increase in trade
33withend insert
Cubabegin delete or the United States, and that lifting the embargoend delete will
34better serve California’s interests and improve the lives of Cubans
35and their families;begin delete now, therefore, be itend deletebegin insert andend insert

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36
WHEREAS, California can benefit economically and culturally
37from direct air travel from the United States to Cuba, including
38direct flights from California; now, therefore, be it

end insert

39Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
40California, jointly,
That the Legislature of the State of California
P5    1urges the Congress of the United States to support President
2Obama’s initiative to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba
3and to, with all deliberate speed, move forward with legislation to
4begin delete lift the economic embargo onend deletebegin insert help increase trade withend insert Cuba; and
5be it further

6Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
7of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United
8States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the
9Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, to the Majority
10Leader of the Senate,begin insert toend insert the Minority Leader of the Senate, and to
11each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress
12of the United States.



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