Published: May 06, 2013 4:55 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling blocking enforcement of a Florida law that banned companies from bidding on state and local government contracts if they also do business in Cuba and Syria.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday the law violates the Constitution because the federal government has sole authority to direct foreign policy. The court also found that Coral Gables-based Odebrecht Construction Inc. would have suffered irreparable harm if the law was allowed to stand.

Odebrecht is a subsidiary of a Brazilian company that has another unit doing work in Cuba's port of Mariel. Odebrecht sued to block the law, contending it would have cost the firm potentially billions of dollars in government contracts.

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