McGovern Wraps Up Trip to Cuba to Promote U.S. Economic Development
Monday, February 27, 2017
“With this new chapter in U.S.-Cuba relations, America has a real opportunity to lead. I was proud to join Republican and Democratic leaders in Cuba this week as we continue to explore new partnerships between our countries,” said Congressman Jim McGovern.
While in Cuba, McGovern attended meetings with leaders from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), who jointly sponsored a delegation of representatives from Harvard Medical School, Worcester Polytechnic University, UMass Memorial Hospital, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Chicago Foods International, and Takeda Oncology to explore partnerships in the areas of medical and biotechnology research and exchanges, as well as meetings with Northeastern University on environmental and marine science research and university exchanges.
"Massachusetts and Cuba are both worldwide leaders in biotechnology, and this visit is the first step in what both sides hope will be a future of collaboration. Knowing of the treatments pioneered in Cuba, many local scientists have wanted to work together with their counterparts but didn’t know how to begin the conversation. We will all develop new treatments and save more lives if we can share knowledge, another example of the benefits that come from reengagement between our two nations,” said Congressman Moulton.
McGovern has been a voice in Congress in the push normalize U.S.-Cuba relations and find ways to connect the two nations’ citizens through expanded travel, commerce, and access to information.
In August 2015, McGovern joined Secretary Kerry in Havana for the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba and in the 114th Congress, McGovern launched a bipartisan Cuba Working Group to build on the historic progress already achieved under President Obama’s new policy.
Members of the Cuba Working Group are supporters of one or more key pieces of legislation introduced in 2015, with Republicans as the lead sponsors. Taken together, these bills repeal economic and travel restrictions and would effectively eliminate the U.S. embargo on Cuba:
- The Cuba Trade Act of 2015 would allow U.S. businesses in the private sector to trade with Cuba without restrictions;
- The Cuba Digital and Telecommunications Advancement Act (Cuba DATA Act) would allow U.S. telecommunications and internet companies to provide services to the island;
- The Cuba Agriculture Exports Act would allow for U.S. investment in privately owned Cuban agriculture businesses;
- The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015 would allow all U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba.
Joining Congressman McGovern on this trip were U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Michael Bennet (D-CO) Tom Udall (D-NM). Also joining McGovern for two days was Congressman Seth Moulton, a fellow member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation.
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