Emerging Markets Law

Growing Congressional Support to Lift the Cuba Embargo

Posted In Cuba

As warming temperatures precede the coming of Spring, there is a growing chorus of support in the U.S. Congress for ending the U.S. embargo of Cuba. 

Writing in his hometown newspaper, U.S. Congressman James Comer (R-KY) wrote recently that it's time to end the U.S. embargo of Cuba.  

Describing his background from an agricultural state like Kentucky, he wrote that the U.S. policy of trying to change the Cuban regime through sanctions has been a multi-decade exercise in failure:

"The foreign policy position of every American President from Eisenhower to Obama has essentially been to shut off Cuba’s economy through an embargo, thereby starving its people and hoping the people would rise up and overthrow the Castro Regime. However, what would transpire over the years with the embargo is that the Castro Regime blamed the blunders of the Cuban economy on the American embargo. Thus, the regime remained in power despite horrible economic conditions and standards of living for Cuban citizens. In other words, U.S. policy toward Cuba actually helped Castro remain in power and keep Cuba a socialist state."

He argues that lifting the embargo would not only benefit the Cuban people, by giving them access to U.S. foodstuffs and consumer products, but would also benefit the U.S. through increases in U.S. exports. Selling products to Cuba would mean more sales and more jobs for the U.S.

The change in administration, he writes, creates a unique opportunity for the U.S. to change the course of its relationship with Cuba:

"President Trump has the ability to change the course of history in Cuba as well as open up a major new market for American goods. Donald Trump campaigned on renegotiating bad trade agreements in the past, such as NAFTA and TPP. He also said that he would renegotiate trade agreements bilaterally between countries instead of multilaterally, as has been the case in the past. I agree with this new way of thinking toward trade, and I encourage President Trump to negotiate a better deal in Cuba—one that would benefit both the United States and the Cuban people."

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