March 21,2003

Letter Regarding the Formation of a Bipartisan Working Group on Trade with Cuba

Below is a letter to the Majority and Minority leaders, regarding the formation of abipartisan working group on trade with Cuba. Today ten Senators announced they wouldbe participating.

Dear Senators Frist and Daschle:

We are writing to inform you of our intention to launch the Senate WorkingGroup on Cuba. The Working Group will examine U.S. policies toward Cuba, includingcurrent trade and travel restrictions.

The sanction policy of the United States has been ineffective since it was adoptedin 1962. Other nation’s trade with Cuba and their producers benefit from that trade. TheU.S. policy places our farmers, workers, and companies at an international competitivedisadvantage. By some estimates, the United States loses out on an export market ofnearly $1 billion per year.

Current U.S. policy also hinders our ability to interact with the Cuban people byrestricting American citizens’ right to travel to Cuba. We believe that the Americanpeople can have greater influence on Cuban society by developing a relationship with theCuban people. That is the only way to influence the peaceful transition to democracy anda market-oriented economy.

We are pleased with the formation of this group and look forward to working withyou on matters related to Cuba.


Max Baucus 
Michael Enzi
Byron Dorgan 
Chuck Hagel
Maria Cantwell 
Norm Coleman
Blanche Lincoln 
Jim Talent
Jeff Bingaman 
Pat Roberts