INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Alejo
   (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)

                        JANUARY 5, 2015

   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.

   WHEREAS, The Obama administration announced new United States
Department of the Treasury and United States Department of Commerce
regulations allowing more exports of certain products to Cuba; and
   WHEREAS, The United States and Cuba recently signed an agreement
to restore commercial airline service between both countries, which
could potentially result in 110 daily flights to and from Cuba.
According to the United States Embassy in Havana, authorized travel
to Cuba by United States citizens increased by over 50 percent since
travel restrictions were eased in December 2014; and
   WHEREAS, Prior to the embargo the United States placed on Cuba in
1960, the United States accounted for nearly 70 percent of Cuba's
international trade. Cuba was the seventh largest market for United
States exporters, particularly for American farm producers.
Currently, 84 percent of all food consumed in Cuba is imported; and
   WHEREAS, The United States and Cuba are natural trading partners,
and California stands ready to be a major source for Cuba's domestic
consumption, which will result in significant growth in the United
States exports and the creation of more American jobs; and
   WHEREAS, A United States International Trade Commission report
states that small exporters currently avoid the Cuban market because
of the complexity of the regulations in the Trade Sanctions Reform
and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA); and
   WHEREAS, Removing the embargo would provide small- and
medium-sized enterprises with access to a much needed market; and
   WHEREAS, Studies on lifting the embargo show a possible economic
spark of $1.1 billion, $365 million from sales of United States
goods, and a creation of up to 6,000 American jobs, predominantly in
agriculture and telecommunications; and
   WHEREAS, In 2000, under the TSRA, Congress began to allow the sale
of agricultural and medical products to Cuba. In four short years,
United States exports to Cuba rose from less than $1 million to $392
million by 2004, with United States agricultural products capturing
42 percent of the Cuban market; and
   WHEREAS, According to a 2001 study sponsored by the Cuba Policy
Foundation, the estimated economic impact of expanded agricultural
exports under the TSRA is $3.6 billion. According to the United
States Chamber of Commerce, the embargo's annual cost to the United
States economy is $1.2 billion, and the embargo disproportionately
affects United States small businesses that lack the transportation
and financial infrastructure to skirt the embargo; and
   WHEREAS, Since 2008, Cuba has undertaken more than 300 economic
reforms designed to encourage enterprise with small businesses, and,
in 2008, United States exports to Cuba reached $718 million, with
corn exports estimated at $198 million, followed by meat and poultry
at $152.6 million and wheat at $135 million; 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 United States goods and services;
   WHEREAS, California is currently the sixth 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, According to the United States Department of Agriculture'
s Economic Research Service data for 2013, each dollar of
agricultural exports stimulated an additional $1.22 in business
activity, thereby further highlighting the potential for creating
American jobs through California agricultural exports; and
   WHEREAS, California is the main producer in the United States of
delicate fresh fruits and vegetables such as strawberries,
raspberries, lettuce, broccoli, artichokes, and cauliflower, which
contain essential vitamins and minerals needed for daily nutrition
that Cuba's population could benefit from; 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, As Cuba raises its agricultural profile, Cuba will need
food manufacturing technology and education on effective practices
that Californian expertise can provide; and
   WHEREAS, California agricultural products will support economic
mobility by exporting products for middle and rising middle classes
in Cuba to consume; and
   WHEREAS, As a growing middle class rises, Cuba's crumbling
infrastructure will no longer support these communities, and Cuba
will look to California for construction expertise and equipment,
which could lead to job growth in these California industries; and
   WHEREAS, The expected growth of infrastructure will allow for the
spread of telecommunication technology to advance in Cuba, where only
5 percent of Cubans have Internet access; 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 medical
devicemakers will be able to sell their products in Cuba, a new
market hungry for its products; and
   WHEREAS, Biotechnology firms will be able to partner with
California companies on key ventures such as research and medical
product development in areas focusing on diabetes and cancer
treatment; and
   WHEREAS, Cuba has already become a leader in the biopharmaceutical
arena, and its vaccine industry will be able to ship more of its
high-quality products to California to be distributed to underserved
populations at lower costs; and
   WHEREAS, California health care providers can benefit immensely
from renewed Cuban relationships; and
   WHEREAS, California would benefit from Cuba's medical advances in
lung cancer, diabetic foot ulcer, and advanced head and neck tumor
treatment and the opportunity to conduct further research on Cuba's
medical accomplishments; and
   WHEREAS, California Latinos are an increasing part of the
electorate, and increasing economic integration with Latin American
countries is a natural evolution of who America is becoming; and
   WHEREAS, Acknowledging that the increase in trade with Cuba will
better serve California's interests and improve the lives of Cubans
and their families; and
   WHEREAS, California can benefit economically and culturally from
direct air travel from the United States to Cuba, including direct
flights from California; and
   WHEREAS, California's 89,000 Cuban Americans would benefit from
normalizing trade relations with Cuba by permitting air travel to and
from Cuba and for remittance practice purposes; and 
   WHEREAS, Strengthening educational exchanges and
culture-to-culture interactions would create bridges for us to build
on and promote mutual awareness, trust, and respect towards one
another; and 
   WHEREAS, Normalizing trade relations would enable California and
the Cuban government and its people to exchange dialogue, giving them
a better opportunity to influence one another regarding human rights
practices;  now   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 help increase
trade with 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, to the Minority Leader of the Senate, and to
each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of
the United States.