The oddest thing about Florida’s new state law to retaliate unfamiliar companies that do business in Cuba is not that it is an choosing deteriorate gimmick by Republican lawmakers to win Cuban-American votes, nor that it is expected to cost taxpayers a lot before it ends adult degraded in a courts. It’s that it would indeed assistance Cuba’s dictatorship.
Before we get into why, let’s demeanour during a facts. The new state law, sealed Tuesday by Gov. Rick Scott, prohibits internal governments from employing firms that do business in Cuba or Syria for contracts value some-more than $1 million, and forbids Florida state grant supports from investing in these firms.
Drafters of a law tell me there are about 200 unfamiliar companies that could tumble into one of these dual categories, including Brazil’s Miami-based engineering and construction hulk Odebrecht USA, whose primogenitor association has a auxiliary that is upgrading Cuba’s pier of Mariel.
In invulnerability of new law
In a write talk Wednesday, U.S. Rep. David Rivera (R-Miami), one of a many outspoken backers of a new state law, deserted critique that it is unconstitutional and that it will shock divided unfamiliar investments from a state.
Rivera pronounced that a new Florida law does not protest a inherent supplies entrusting a sovereign supervision — and not a states — to control unfamiliar policy, since a new Florida law allegedly refers to a state’s right to control a open supports and “has zero to do with unfamiliar policy.”
“The new Florida law does not forestall unfamiliar companies from doing any private zone business in Florida,” Rivera said. “It usually says that if companies wish to do business with cities or counties or a state of Florida, they have to confirm either they would cite to do business with a militant regime or do business with a state of Florida.”
Rivera also deserted a faith that this state law will be successfully challenged in a courts, observant that there is a fashion whereby sovereign courts have inspected a Florida law prohibiting Florida universities from regulating taxpayers’ income to classify trips to countries on a U.S. State Department’s list of militant nations, like Cuba.
On a other side of a argument, a Florida Chamber of Commerce and several other pro-business groups are antagonistic a new law, observant that it will harm Florida’s business meridian and inspire unfamiliar companies to deposit in other states.
To my surprise, even some high-profile Cuban-American Republicans, such as J. Antonio “Tony” Villamil, vanguard of Saint Thomas University’s School of Business and former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce in a George W. Bush Administration, consider that a new law is counter-productive.
‘A black eye on Florida’
Villamil, who also served as Florida executive of mercantile growth underneath former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, did not chop words: he told me that a new law is “a black eye on Florida.”
“First, this law is unconstitutional, since it violates a sovereign energy to control unfamiliar policy, ” he said. “Second, it violates World Trade Organization manners that contend that we can't distinguish opposite a unfamiliar association and emanate second-class companies.”
“Third, it hurts Florida’s business climate,” Villamil said. After all these “trade missions that Florida and a administrator have taken around a world, including to Brazil, revelation unfamiliar companies that we acquire them in Florida, we are incompatible them from suggestive state and internal contracts.
“And it doesn’t do anything to assistance a leisure of Cuba,” he said. “It allows Castro to have a promotion indicate and say, ‘Look how antagonistic Cuban exiles are opposite a country.'”
The rebound effect
My opinion: The new Florida state law, if enacted, will rebound on a sponsors for one additional reason. It would inspire other U.S. states to pass unfamiliar process and trade laws.
That would not usually make U.S. unfamiliar process even some-more contingent on internal constituencies that pull for their possess mercantile agendas forward of a inhabitant interest, though would inspire many U.S. states to pass laws giving taxation breaks or other special privileges to firms that have dependent companies doing business in Cuba.
To measure points with Cuba’s regime, Iowa, Kansas and other plantation states that are fervent to boost their already poignant exports to Cuba would try to foster their business ties with companies doing business on a island.
Cuba’s octogenarian troops rulers would be a biggest winners.
Andres Oppenheimer, is a Latin America match for a Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla. 33132.