Amended in Assembly June 28, 2016

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.


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 to help increase trade with Cuba.

Fiscal committee: no.

P1    1WHEREAS, 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

5WHEREAS, 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

P2    1WHEREAS, Prior to the embargo the United States placed on
2Cuba in 1960, the United States accounted for nearly 70 percent
3of Cuba’s international trade. Cuba was the seventh largest market
4for United States exporters, particularly for American farm
5producers. Currently, 84 percent of all food consumed in Cuba is
6imported; and

7WHEREAS, The United States and Cuba are natural trading
8partners, and California stands ready to be a major source for
9Cuba’s domestic consumption, which will result in significant
10growth in the United States exports and the creation of more
11American jobs; and

12WHEREAS, A United States International Trade Commission
13report states that small exporters currently avoid the Cuban market
14because of the complexity of the regulations in the Trade Sanctions
15Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA); and

16WHEREAS, Removing the embargo would provide small- and
17medium-sized enterprises with access to a much needed market;

19WHEREAS, Studies on lifting the embargo show a possible
20economic spark of $1.1 billion, $365 million from sales of United
21States goods, and a creation of up to 6,000 American jobs,
22predominantly in agriculture and telecommunications; and

23WHEREAS, In 2000, under the TSRA, Congress began to allow
24the sale of agricultural and medical products to Cuba. In four short
25years, United States exports to Cuba rose from less than $1 million
26to $392 million by 2004, with United States agricultural products
27capturing 42 percent of the Cuban market; and

28WHEREAS, According to a 2001 study sponsored by the Cuba
29Policy Foundation, the estimated economic impact of expanded
30agricultural exports under the TSRA is $3.6 billion. According to
31the United States Chamber of Commerce, the embargo’s annual
32cost to the United States economy is $1.2 billion, and the embargo
33disproportionately affects United States small businesses that lack
34the transportation and financial infrastructure to skirt the embargo;

36WHEREAS, Since 2008, Cuba has undertaken more than 300
37economic reforms designed to encourage enterprise with small
38businesses, and, in 2008, United States exports to Cuba reached
39$718 million, with corn exports estimated at $198 million, followed
P3    1by meat and poultry at $152.6 million and wheat at $135 million;

3WHEREAS, Allies of the United States have taken a
4disproportionate share of the market of an island that is only 90
5miles from our shores and is a natural market for United States
6goods and services; and

7WHEREAS, California is currently thebegin delete eighthend deletebegin insert sixthend insert largest
8economy in the world but exported only $122,000 in agricultural
9products to Cuba in 2013, approximately .00068 percent of the
10$18 billion of agricultural products exported from California each
11year; and

12WHEREAS, According to the United States Department of
13Agriculture’s Economic Research Service data for 2013, each
14dollar of agricultural exports stimulated an additional $1.22 in
15business activity, thereby further highlighting the potential for
16creating American jobs through California agricultural exports;

begin insert

WHEREAS, California is the main producer in the United States
19of delicate fresh fruits and vegetables such as strawberries,
20raspberries, lettuce, broccoli, artichokes, and cauliflower, which
21contain essential vitamins and minerals needed for daily nutrition
22that Cuba’s population could benefit from; and

end insert

23WHEREAS, California’s agricultural growers face great
24opportunities by moving to Cuba to aid in the development of
25agricultural technology, innovation, and investment; and

26WHEREAS, As Cuba raises its agricultural profile, Cuba will
27need food manufacturing technology and education on effective
28practices that Californian expertise can provide; and

29WHEREAS, California agricultural products will support
30economic mobility by exporting products for middle and rising
31middle classes in Cuba to consume; and

32WHEREAS, As a growing middle class rises, Cuba’s crumbling
33infrastructure will no longer support these communities, and Cuba
34will look to California for construction expertise and equipment,
35which could lead to job growth in these California industries; and

36WHEREAS, The expected growth of infrastructure will allow
37for the spread of telecommunication technology to advance in
38Cuba, where only 5 percent of Cubans have Internet access; and

P4    1WHEREAS, California is the high-tech capital of the nation and
2is well positioned to export telecommunications infrastructure to
3Cuba; and

4WHEREAS, California pharmaceutical companies and medical
5devicemakers will be able to sell their products in Cuba, a new
6market hungry for its products; and

7WHEREAS, Biotechnology firms will be able to partner with
8California companies on key ventures such as research and medical
9product development in areas focusing on diabetes and cancer
10treatment; and

11WHEREAS, Cuba has already become a leader in the
12biopharmaceutical arena, and its vaccine industry will be able to
13ship more of its high-quality products to California to be distributed
14to underserved populations at lower costs; and

15WHEREAS, California health care providers can benefit
16immensely from renewed Cuban relationships; and

begin insert

WHEREAS, California would benefit from Cuba’s medical
18advances in lung cancer, diabetic foot ulcer, and advanced head
19and neck tumor treatment and the opportunity to conduct further
20research on Cuba’s medical accomplishments; and

end insert

21WHEREAS, California Latinos are an increasing part of the
22electorate, and increasing economic integration with Latin
23American countries is a natural evolution of who America is
24becoming; and

25WHEREAS, Acknowledging that the increase in trade with
26Cuba will better serve California’s interests and improve the lives
27of Cubans and their families; and

28WHEREAS, California can benefit economically and culturally
29from direct air travel from the United States to Cuba, including
30direct flights from California;begin delete now, therefore, be itend deletebegin insert andend insert

begin insert

WHEREAS, California’s 89,000 Cuban Americans would benefit
32from normalizing trade relations with Cuba by permitting air travel
33to and from Cuba and for remittance practice purposes; and

end insert
begin insert

WHEREAS, Normalizing trade relations would enable California
35and the Cuban government and its people to exchange dialogue,
36giving them a better opportunity to influence one another regarding
37human rights practices; now therefore, be it

end insert

38Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
39California, jointly,
That the Legislature of the State of California
40urges the Congress of the United States to support President
P5    1Obama’s initiative to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba
2and to, with all deliberate speed, move forward with legislation to
3help increase trade with Cuba; and be it further

4Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
5of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United
6States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the
7Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, to the Majority
8Leader of the Senate, to the Minority Leader of the Senate, and to
9each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress
10of the United States.