The United States currently has restrictions on Cuba that prohibit Americans to do business or even travel to the country. And while President Donald Trump has expressed disinterest in policies that have no benefits to Americans, he also promised that he would push for trade agendas that benefit the U.S. economy and workers.
Experts say that President Trump’s administration would move one step closer to this goal by removing existing trade and travel restrictions to Cuba.
According to Europar, Cuba’s biggest imports are machinery, sugar, nickel, and pharmaceutical products. Refined fuel is also one of the country’s main imports, which means that renewed trade partnerships could allow the U.S. to ease its shortage of crude oil.
The United States’ embargo against Cuba, or “El Bloqueo” as the Cubans call it, is the economic, financial, and commercial blockage of the United States on Cuba. The embargo was first imposed by the U.S. which focused on the sale of arms to Cuba on March 1958 during the Fulgencio Batista regime. On October 1960, just two years after the Batista regime was overthrown by the Cuban Revolution, the U.S. placed an embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicine after the country nationalized American-owned Cuban oil refineries without pay. The Cuban missile crisis was also a catalyst for the embargo. FXCM revealed in 1962 the then U.S. president John F. Kennedy was forced to negotiate the withdrawal of a Soviet shipment carrying missiles to Cuba with former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in order to prevent further conflict with the nations involved. Today, the effects of the events that led to the embargo are still being felt in different trade sectors of Cuba.
However, analysts suggest that the reasons for the embargo have long been obsolete and do not reflect the sentiments of the current Cuban regime. The different business sectors in Cuba have been united against fighting the embargo, which has been implemented since the early 1950s.
There are currently three legislations in congress that could effectively ease the unnecessary barriers on trade: lifting the travel ban, removing the private financing restrictions on agriculture, and getting rid of the trade embargo. Each of these legislations must be supported and passed by congress in order to be in full effect.
The Cuba Trade Act, which was first introduced by Senator Jerry Moran and Congressman Tom Emmer, allows America’s private sectors to export goods and services to Cuba. If lifted, public sectors can once again trade with Cuba, which will in turn benefit the American economy on a whole. According to a study conducted by the Texas A&M University, the cancellation of the embargo could effectively increase sales of goods in the U.S. by more than $360 million, and create more than 5,000 jobs.
Business sectors do not see the need for a trade and travel ban anymore in the country. Cuba is the only country in the world with a travel ban imposed by the U.S., and analysts say that lifting this ban could work wonders both for the U.S. and Cuban economies.