New Florida Law Prohibits Miami-Dade, Other Governments From Hiring Companies Tied To Cuba

Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Miami Herald

Delving into Miami-Dade's tricky exile politics, Florida lawmakers passed sweeping but little-noticed legislation this session prohibiting local governments from hiring companies that do business with Cuba. … Statutes limiting local governments' contracting decisions based on the vendor's international work oversteps a state's power, said Dan O'Flaherty, vice president of the Washington D.C.-based National Foreign Trade Council, which advocates trade with Cuba. "It's unconstitutional," he said, citing a 2000 Trade Council case in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law restricting state businesses from dealing with companies with ties to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. "States are barred by the Supreme Court decision from enacting procurement sanctions targeting companies doing business in foreign country ‘X,' " added O'Flaherty, whose organization sent letters to Gov. Rick Scott and House and Senate leaders in opposition.

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