In 2012, Florida lawmakers determined that work performed in Florida should not benefit companies that also do business in Cuba. Legislation was passed targeting companies with a parent company or subsidiary with Cuban connections. These companies were banned from entering into a state or local Florida contract worth $1 million or more.
In response, a construction and engineering firm called Odebrecht USA, filed commercial litigation claiming that the law should be immediately blocked. Odebrecht has a parent company connected to affiliates working in Cuba. Accordingly, if the law went into effect, Odebrecht would not be allowed to contract with Florida governments. This situation would be problematic for Odebrecht which has received close to $4 billion from construction projects across the state over the last 23 years. Other companies would also have been affected by the new law; it is estimated that 238 firms that enter into Florida governmental contracts also have a business connection to Cuba.