Joint Statement by Federica Mogherini and Cecilia Malmström on the decision of the United States to further activate Title III of the Helms Burton (Libertad) Act
In the light of the United States Administration's decision to not renew the waiver related to Title III of the 1996 Helms-Burton (LIBERTAD) Act, the European Union reiterates its strong opposition to the extraterritorial application of unilateral Cuba-related measures that are contrary to international law. This decision is also a breach of the United States' commitments undertaken in the EU-US agreements of 1997 and 1998, which have been respected by both sides without interruption since then. In those agreements, the US committed to waive Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and the EU, inter alia, suspended its case in the World Trade Organisation against the US.
The EU will consider all options at its disposal to protect its legitimate interests, including in relation to its WTO rights and through the use of the EU Blocking Statute. The Statute prohibits the enforcement of US courts judgements relating to Title III of the Helms-Burton Act within the EU, and allows EU companies sued in the US to recover any damage through legal proceedings against US claimants before EU courts.
Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland and EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström on the decision of the United States to further activate Title III of the Helms Burton (Libertad) Act
The decision by the United States to renege on its longstanding commitment to waive Title III of the Helms-Burton (LIBERTAD) Act is regrettable, and will have an important impact on legitimate EU and Canadian economic operators in Cuba. The EU and Canada consider the extraterritorial application of unilateral Cuba-related measures contrary to international law. We are determined to work together to protect the interests of our companies in the context of the WTO and by banning the enforcement or recognition of foreign judgements based on Title III, both in the EU and Canada. Our respective laws allow any US claims to be followed by counter-claims in European and Canadian courts, so the US decision to allow suits against foreign companies can only lead to an unnecessary spiral of legal actions.