free trade, unilateral and economic trade sanctions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2002
Contact:  Eric Thomas
Emily Kelley
202/822-9491

USA*Engage Hails House Cuba Working Group's Policy Review

Washington, D.C. - USA*Engage today hails the recommendations made by the bipartisan House Cuba Working Group in its review of United States policy toward Cuba.

"USA*Engage gives 100 percent support to the recommendations laid out in the Cuba Working Group's policy review," said Don Deline, Chairman of USA*Engage. "Clearly, the failed 40-year policy of isolation toward Cuba is at odds with U.S. values and long-term economic interests. Unilateral sanctions have not worked in the past and they will not work in the future. After four decades, the U.S. embargo has failed to produce meaningful political and economic reform. It is time to implement of policy of engagement. If we're engaging with China and North Korea, so too should we be engaging with Cuba."

The forty Members of Congress belonging to the bipartisan House Cuba Working Group are dedicated to lifting the U.S. travel ban to Cuba, allowing normal exports of agricultural and medical products, and improving human rights for Cuban citizens. There are twenty Republicans and twenty Democrats involved with the Cuba Working Group.

The Cuba Working Group policy review recommends ten policy changes, including:

"The embargo is economically, socially and diplomatically counterproductive," said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice-Chairman of USA*Engage. "Ending the embargo would not only benefit the Cuban people, it also would bring direct benefit to the U.S. economy in the form of jobs for the American people and in the form of trade for our farmers and businesses."

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of over 670 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. For more information on USA*ENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions, visit the USA*ENGAGE web site at www.usaengage.org.

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