Small business owners often tell us that they have many questions about how to enter a new market – and those questions are magnified when it comes to doing business with Cuba. There have been several changes to the bilateral relationship in recent months, and, to address your questions, I hope that you will join SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet and other senior officials on July 29 at 4:00 p.m. ET to discuss the opportunities that exist for exporting to Cuba.
Today’s re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba and reopening of embassies in Washington and Havana is an historic step marking the new direction in U.S.-Cuba relations announced by President Obama last December. This step was preceded by a series of significant measures: in January, the Departments of Commerce and Treasury amended their regulations to increase travel, trade and the free flow of information to and from Cuba. In April, during the Summit of the Americas in Panama, President Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro. And after a six-month review, Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism was rescinded. Significant challenges remain, and the President has acknowledged the U.S. will continue to press the Cuban government on areas of concern, in particular human rights and basic freedoms. And the trade embargo remains, which can only be lifted through Congressional action. Nonetheless, the President’s decision to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease some commercial and travel restrictions is a step toward increased economic opportunity in our hemisphere – particularly for American small businesses.
Small Business Cuba Call-In:
The SBA stands ready to share information on how American small businesses can seize the full potential of our rapprochement with Cuba. Join the SBA Administrator and colleagues from the State Department, Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for a conference call to discuss recent rule changes on Cuba.
Date: July 29, 2015
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET
Note: this call is not open to the press.
By Eileen Sánchez, SBA Official, U.S. Small Business Administration
July 20, 2015