Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) expressed great concern that President Trump’s rollback of United States policies with Cuba implemented under President Obama that opened up new opportunities for trade, tourism and business relationships between the two nations may hurt the United States economy and threaten the future of promising cancer research underway at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Higgins spoke out against the changed policy on the House Floor this week and sent a letter to the Treasury and Commerce Departments outlining the importance of protecting the unique relationship between Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York and the Center of Molecular Immunology in Havana, Cuba.  The partnership, only made possible after the previous Administration loosened restrictions for trade and investment in 2015, is allowing for a clinical trial, testing for the first time in the United States CIMAvax,  a lung-cancer vaccine giving advanced lung cancer patients new hope in the fight for their lives.

According to the Department of the Treasury, changes will not take place until the Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issues new regulations consistent with the Administration’s executive order.  Congressman Higgins is stressing that policy will need to be crafted in a way that carves out this relationship given its humanitarian mission; otherwise Roswell Park’s work with CIMAvax could be at risk.

Below is the text of Congressman Higgins’ letter: