Major news organizations are reporting that President Trump will announce revisions to the Obama administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. In a letter to the Trump administration, AED’s President & CEO Brian P. McGuire advised that a policy that continues engagement with the island is vital for the United States’ economic and national security interests.
In 2016, the association led two business delegations to Cuba, allowing dozens of equipment industry leaders to personally familiarize themselves with U.S.–Cuba relations. AED has also been actively engaging with lawmakers to lift the trade embargo against the island nation located just 100 miles from the United States.
McGuire touted the opportunities for American companies in Cuba, which industry representatives observed first-hard during the AED-led business delegations. “The island is awash with potential business opportunities for American companies,” McGuire stated. “Cuba has substantial infrastructure needs ranging from roads, bridges and highways to water systems and airports. Such projects provide markets for goods supplied by U.S. businesses, including construction equipment dealers and manufacturers.”
Unfortunately, even with the Obama administration’s steps toward normalizing relations with Cuba, U.S. companies are forced to the sidelines as our allies actively trade with Cuba while countries such as Russia and China fill the void left by the United States’ absence. Rolling back the policies will only further close off business opportunities and drive a greater wedge between the U.S. and Cuba.
“Our country’s stance toward Cuba is an outdated relic of the Cold War that hasn’t worked,” McGuire told President Trump. “Maintaining a decades-long failed policy while sacrificing economic and national security interests is ill-advised. Continuing to normalize relations in Cuba is the only way to effectively bring about political change on the island while opening a new market for U.S. goods, products and ideas.”
McGuire concluded that continued engagement with Cuba is consistent with President Trump’s vision for a stronger America. “Preserving, not reversing, recent efforts to engage Cuba fits directly in line with your desire to put ‘America first.’”