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Cuba changes will move the needle for U.S. business-Piccone

Friday, September 18, 2015 - 04:19

Brookings Institution's Ted Piccone talks about the easing of some Cuba business regulations by the U.S., and how it could benefit U.S. businesses Bobbi Rebell reports.

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New regulations will ease restrictions on American companies who want to do business with Cuba starting. September 21 that is Monday here with more on how to sell will play out is Ted the coney is a senior fellow in the Latin America initiative. At Brookings institute great having served. Good afternoon I sit there had been an embargo on Cuba for 53 years what is he cheated over an SEI Monday. Well the embargo is still in place what the president has announced it is the ability to allow US companies that. Are permitted. To go around the embargo. To do this is more easily now they still have to. Work out the details on the Cuban government side but at least the US government is saying we're trying to get out of the way. And do everything we can to facilitate greater. Trade with the Cuban people more people people directing treatment so that we can get past our. Problems. And and move to do a new future. Savannah looks of course is what is the Cuban perspective on this. The Cuban government has been slow and cautious. About these changes they have some big problems they need to address. In their macro economy they have a dual currency system that needs to be fixed. Among other things. That'll big debt payments that need to be made. And so they're going about this and it in a cautious way. So I don't expect this sudden. Opening the doors to teach these permitted US businesses. But. Some gradual. Flexibility. So what are these changes mean for them larger issue of normalization. I think they're enormously positive actually in the whole context not coincidentally. They're timed with the pope's visit to Cuba and then hope Francis comes to Washington in New York continued discussions. On on these matters. And eight signals yet again to the Cuban government and importantly to the US congress. That the president intends to go forward with this. New policy of normalization. Of supporting the Cuban people these matches are very much designed. To support Cuba's emerging private sector. For example also it lifts remittances. Allows a lot more cash flow to families in Cuba who I think can can use that money. To open up their own businesses. So I think that's that's really why it's important. So what does this mean from an American business perspective does it move the needle at all is there any economic impact on these businesses that now see the Cuban. Opportunity. In certain categories it does move the needle so if I'm a telecommunications company for example AT&T or Verizon. I can now open a physical presence on the island. I can not only sell or donate phones I can loan or leased phones. If I'm in the banking business. It allows for more banking activity on the island. As long as it relates to be permitted categories. Agriculture. Telecommunications. And some of the travel and also biomedical. Trade is allowed some construction. Related activities is allowed if the construction is for the private. Sector in Cuba. Carried just finally what are the next steps that you expect to see how does this play out. I think it pushes on two key actors as I mentioned the Cuban government. And also on the US congress. It makes it clear that. Stimulate the business economy and the business community put more pressure. On the US congress to get moving. You know the rest of the world is moving ahead in making its own business deals in Cuba and US companies being left out of the game. So if if congress wants to stimulate. The economy here and create jobs then in these lithium Margo and I think you'll hear more of that argument in the coming months. I think some sex. You're welcome. Our thanks to attend the kind of Brookings I've got your bell this is writers.

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Cuba changes will move the needle for U.S. business-Piccone

Friday, September 18, 2015 - 04:19