U.S. lawmakers are visiting Cuba this week to attend a trade fair that could lead to the sale of $150 million worth of U.S. goods to the island nation, despite the current U.S. trade embargo. Under a 2000 law, agricultural and food products are exempt from the decades-old embargo, and some U.S. companies and legislators are intrigued by the possible business opportunities under this exemption.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) headed the bipartisan group's venture to Cuba this week when Cuba's import agency, Alimport, was holding a trade fair. A spokeswoman in DeLauro's office tells Legal Times that the delegation planned to meet with Cuban government officials and clergy members. "They're there to speak with different folk to have a dialogue about the embargo, the trade restrictions, and what the future between the two countries could be," says DeLauro's spokeswoman Adriana Surfas.
DeLauro is one of several lawmakers who support easing U.S. sanctions against Cuba. She wants to give Cuban Americans living in the United States "family rights," which would let them visit family members in Cuba without first getting permission from the U.S. government.