Amended in Assembly August 4, 2016

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

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(Coauthors: Assembly Members Achadjian, Arambula, Atkins, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chau, Chiu, Chu, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gonzalez, Gordon, Hadley, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Lopez, Maienschein, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Nazarian, O'Donnell, Olsen, Quirk, Rendon, Rodriguez, Salas, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Weber, Williams, and Wood)

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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

P2    1WHEREAS, The United States and Cuba recently signed an
2agreement to restore commercial airline service between both
3countries, which could potentially result in 110 daily flights to and
4from Cuba. According to the United States Embassy in Havana,
5authorized travel to Cuba by United States citizens increased by
6over 50 percent since travel restrictions were eased in December
72014; and

8WHEREAS, Prior to the embargo the United States placed on
9Cuba in 1960, the United States accounted for nearly 70 percent
10of Cuba’s international trade. Cuba was the seventh largest market
11for United States exporters, particularly for American farm
12producers. Currently, 84 percent of all food consumed in Cuba is
13imported; and

14WHEREAS, The United States and Cuba are natural trading
15partners, and California stands ready to be a major source for
16Cuba’s domestic consumption, which will result in significant
17growth in the United States exports and the creation of more
18American jobs; and

19WHEREAS, A United States International Trade Commission
20report states that small exporters currently avoid the Cuban market
21because of the complexity of the regulations in the Trade Sanctions
22Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA); and

23WHEREAS, Removing the embargo would provide small- and
24medium-sized enterprises with access to a much needed market;

26WHEREAS, Studies on lifting the embargo show a possible
27economic spark of $1.1 billion, $365 million from sales of United
28States goods, and a creation of up to 6,000 American jobs,
29predominantly in agriculture and telecommunications; and

30WHEREAS, In 2000, under the TSRA, Congress began to allow
31the sale of agricultural and medical products to Cuba. In four short
32years, United States exports to Cuba rose from less than $1 million
33to $392 million by 2004, with United States agricultural products
34capturing 42 percent of the Cuban market; and

35WHEREAS, According to a 2001 study sponsored by the Cuba
36Policy Foundation, the estimated economic impact of expanded
37agricultural exports under the TSRA is $3.6 billion. According to
38the United States Chamber of Commerce, the embargo’s annual
39cost to the United States economy is $1.2 billion, and the embargo
40disproportionately affects United States small businesses that lack
P3    1the transportation and financial infrastructure to skirt the embargo;

3WHEREAS, Since 2008, Cuba has undertaken more than 300
4economic reforms designed to encourage enterprise with small
5businesses, and, in 2008, United States exports to Cuba reached
6$718 million, with corn exports estimated at $198 million, followed
7by meat and poultry at $152.6 million and wheat at $135 million;

9WHEREAS, Allies of the United States have taken a
10disproportionate share of the market of an island that is only 90
11miles from our shores and is a natural market for United States
12goods and services; and

13WHEREAS, California is currently the sixth largest economy
14in the world but exported only $122,000 in agricultural products
15to Cuba in 2013, approximately .00068 percent of the $18 billion
16of agricultural products exported from California each year; and

17WHEREAS, According to the United States Department of
18Agriculture’s Economic Research Service data for 2013, each
19dollar of agricultural exports stimulated an additional $1.22 in
20business activity, thereby further highlighting the potential for
21creating American jobs through California agricultural exports;

23WHEREAS, California is the main producer in the United States
24of delicate fresh fruits and vegetables such as strawberries,
25raspberries, lettuce, broccoli, artichokes, and cauliflower, which
26contain essential vitamins and minerals needed for daily nutrition
27that Cuba’s population could benefit from; and

28WHEREAS, California’s agricultural growers face great
29opportunities by moving to Cuba to aid in the development of
30agricultural technology, innovation, and investment; and

31WHEREAS, As Cuba raises its agricultural profile, Cuba will
32need food manufacturing technology and education on effective
33practices that Californian expertise can provide; and

34WHEREAS, California agricultural products will support
35economic mobility by exporting products for middle and rising
36middle classes in Cuba to consume; and

37WHEREAS, As a growing middle class rises, Cuba’s crumbling
38infrastructure will no longer support these communities, and Cuba
39will look to California for construction expertise and equipment,
40which could lead to job growth in these California industries; and

P4    1WHEREAS, The expected growth of infrastructure will allow
2for the spread of telecommunication technology to advance in
3Cuba, where only 5 percent of Cubans have Internet access; and

4WHEREAS, California is the high-tech capital of the nation and
5is well positioned to export telecommunications infrastructure to
6Cuba; and

7WHEREAS, California pharmaceutical companies and medical
8devicemakers will be able to sell their products in Cuba, a new
9market hungry for its products; and

10WHEREAS, Biotechnology firms will be able to partner with
11California companies on key ventures such as research and medical
12product development in areas focusing on diabetes and cancer
13treatment; and

14WHEREAS, Cuba has already become a leader in the
15biopharmaceutical arena, and its vaccine industry will be able to
16ship more of its high-quality products to California to be distributed
17to underserved populations at lower costs; and

18WHEREAS, California health care providers can benefit
19immensely from renewed Cuban relationships; and

20WHEREAS, California would benefit from Cuba’s medical
21advances in lung cancer, diabetic foot ulcer, and advanced head
22and neck tumor treatment and the opportunity to conduct further
23research on Cuba’s medical accomplishments; and

24WHEREAS, California Latinos are an increasing part of the
25electorate, and increasing economic integration with Latin
26American countries is a natural evolution of who America is
27becoming; and

28WHEREAS, Acknowledging that the increase in trade with
29Cuba will better serve California’s interests and improve the lives
30of Cubans and their families; and

31WHEREAS, California can benefit economically and culturally
32from direct air travel from the United States to Cuba, including
33direct flights from California; and

34WHEREAS, California’s 89,000 Cuban Americans would
35benefit from normalizing trade relations with Cuba by permitting
36air travel to and from Cuba and for remittance practice purposes;

38WHEREAS, Normalizing trade relations would enable California
39and the Cuban government and its people to exchange dialogue,
P5    1giving them a better opportunity to influence one another regarding
2human rights practices; now therefore, be it

3Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
4California, jointly,
That the Legislature of the State of California
5urges the Congress of the United States to support President
6Obama’s initiative to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba
7and to, with all deliberate speed, move forward with legislation to
8help increase trade with Cuba; and be it further

9Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
10of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United
11States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the
12Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, to the Majority
13Leader of the Senate, to the Minority Leader of the Senate, and to
14each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress
15of the United States.