The county attorney has opined that Miami-Dade should not enforce the state law because it conflicts with federal law, though some commissioners disagree.
The law’s supporters have said that the new Florida law, which also applies to companies that do business in Syria, tracks federal statutes that hold that Cuba and Syria are state sponsors of terrorism, along with Iran and Sudan.
Though it’s unclear which, or how many, companies across the state would be affected by the law, business interests, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the governments of Florida’s top two trading partners, Brazil and Canada, have warned that the law could have a chilling effect on investment in the state.
Odebrecht USA, which was established in 1990, has been involved in most of South Florida’s major construction projects, including the American Airlines Arena, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and the North Terminal at Miami International Airport.
It has recently been negotiating with Miami-Dade aviation officials to build a proposed project known as Airport City, which would include two hotels, office and retail space on airport grounds, though the project has stalled because commissioners have balked at giving the firm more business.
In April, Broward County commissioners awarded a more-than $225 million contract to Odebrecht USA as part of a joint venture to expand the southern runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
According to the lawsuit, Odebrecht USA had more than 200 employees and revenues of $214.5 million in 2011. Since 1990, the company has been awarded more than 60 projects, valued at $4.94 billion. Of those, 35 projects — amounting to $3.9 billion — were for state agencies and local governments.