Leading U.S. Business Associations Endorse Cuba Travel Bill
Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and USA*Engage today spearheaded a letter on behalf of the business community, expressing strong support for H.R. 874, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act. The letter, which was signed by eight other leading business associations, urged Members of Congress to pass the bill and remove all restrictions on travel by U.S. citizens.
In a letter delivered today to all Members of Congress, the associations stated:
"…The United States should immediately remove travel restrictions and allow Americans to act as ambassadors of freedom and American values to Cuba. From farmers and manufacturers to human rights and religious groups, as well as a large and growing number of Cuban Americans, the American people recognize the unfairness and incongruity of restricting travel to Cuba. It is simply wrong that American citizens cannot travel freely to Cuba but are not restricted by the United States from traveling to places like North Korea and Iran.
"Current policies towards Cuba have clearly not achieved their objectives. Without the support of our allies and the larger international community, U.S. sanctions serve only to remove the positive influences that American businesses, workers, religious groups, students and tourists have in promoting U.S. values and human rights. Sanctions are also blunt instruments that generally harm the poorest people of the target country rather than that country's leaders."
In addition to the NFTC and USA*Engage, the letter was signed by AdvaMed, the Coalition of Service Industries, the Emergency Committee for American Trade, the Organization for International Investment, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Council for International Business.
"It is counterproductive to restrict the rights of American citizens to travel to Cuba, and Congress ought to fix this anomaly in U.S. foreign policy," said NFTC Vice President for Global Trade Issues Jake Colvin. "Reversing the travel ban would act as a catalyst for citizen diplomacy by promoting goodwill and understanding between the people of Cuba and the United States."
For a copy of the letter, please click here.
USA*Engage (www.usaengage.org) is a coalition of small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org), USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policy-makers, opinion-leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy world wide.
About the NFTC
The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.
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