US Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to End the Trade Embargo With Cuba, Potentially Opening Door for Cuban Rum to Return to US
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US Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to End the Trade Embargo With Cuba, Potentially Opening Door for Cuban Rum to Return to US

US Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to End the Trade Embargo with Cuba, Potentially Opening Door For Cuban Rum To Return to US

(Photo: Alie Skowronski/Miami Herald/AP)

On Monday, a group of bipartisan senators introduced a bill to end the Cuban trade embargo. Rum and sugar are among Cuba’s top exports and if this bill is successful it could open up the US market to Cuban rum after decades of commercial blockade.

Senators, Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced the bill. The legislation may be bipartisan, however, it will likely face a number of powerful Democrats and Republicans who oppose working with Cuba as pointed out by The Hill

Proponents of the bill argue the US can still impose human rights-based restrictions while also tapping into a market of 11 million people right at America’s doorstep. Also, the bill’s supporters argue this could be a major opportunity for American farmers. 

“We can expand opportunities for American businesses and farmers to trade with Cuba while still holding the Cuban government accountable for its human rights record. This bipartisan legislation is a smart fix that will create American jobs and benefit the Cuban people,” Murphy said.

“I’m proud to sign onto the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act. It’s important for the United States to boost our economic opportunities and increase market access for American-made goods,” said Marshall.

Many see the trade embargo as a relic of the past and a failed policy. 

“I have long pushed to reform our relationship with Cuba, which for decades has been defined by conflicts of the past instead of looking toward the future,” Klobuchar said in a statement.

Klobuchar continued, “By ending the trade embargo with Cuba once and for all, our bipartisan legislation will turn the page on the failed policy of isolation while creating a new export market and generating economic opportunities for American businesses.”

For spirits lovers, an end to the embargo could mean easier access to products from one of the most significant rum-producing countries in the world. 

The bill will likely face a lot of opposition as highlighted by The Hill and, as it currently stands in the senate, would require 60 votes to pass. Regardless, it puts the discussion back on the table. 

“It is long past time for us to normalize relations with Cuba,” Warren said. “This legislation takes important steps to remove barriers for U.S. trade and relations between our two countries and moves us in the right direction by increasing economic opportunities for Americans and the Cuban people.”

It is likely still too early to know if the US will see Cuban rum on its liquor store shelves, but a dialogue about the trade embargo has been opened once again. This at least shows that it’s on the minds of the representatives in Washington DC.

Read Next: 

Can You Bring Cuban Rum Back to the United States? What You Need to Know

UNESCO Declares Cuban Rum Masters’ Knowledge as Cultural Heritage

The 5 Best Places to Drink Rum in Miami

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Jessica Gleman is the managing editor of Rum Raiders. She received her Ph.D. at the University College of Dublin in Ireland, where she studied the archaeology of ancient alcohol. Jessica has a passion for the alcohol industry, including agriculture, distillation and mixology. When Jessica is not writing about rum, she is also a travel and food enthusiast who loves going around the world and experiencing various cuisines and cultures. She is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and expertise and learning even more about this amazing spirit.