Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
World News | By Penny Hart

Trump faces tough task unwinding Obama Cuba policy

Trump faces tough task unwinding Obama Cuba policy

Engage Cuba's analysis didn't examine how many U.S.jobs have actually been generated since the US and Cuba began to normalize relations on December 2014, or the total economic impact since then.

James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, said in the report, released on Thursday.

Cutting off commercial and diplomatic ties with Cuba would hurt the USA economy and threaten thousands of jobs, according to a report released Thursday.

President Trump is looking to reward anti-Castro Republican-based Cuban-Americans for their support by reversing numerous Obama administration's Cuba policies that relaxed travel bans and financial opportunities.

The Trump administration is mulling over rollbacks to Obama-era policies aimed at easing tensions between Cuba and the United States.

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Cuba's economy is now staving off a crisis as a tourism boom that followed the 2014 deal between Castro and Obama to improve relations fails to offset declining shipments of bartered fuel from key socialist ally Venezuela and a drop in exports.

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A bipartisan group of USA senators last week reintroduced legislation to repeal all restrictions on travel to Cuba, this time attracting far more co-sponsors. Marriott International's Starwood is the only USA hotel company to manage a property in Cuba with at least three more properties in the pipeline.

USA airlines could lose almost $512,000 each year or $2 billion and almost 4,000 jobs through 2021, the study found, and cruise lines could lose more than $1.5 billion and more than 6,000 jobs over that span.

"First, tightening regulations does not mean severing completely certain U.S. -Cuba economic ties", said Paolo Spadoni, Associate Professor of Political Science at Augusta University.

Trump is facing intense pressure from Cuba hard-liners in Congress to scale back Obama's policies, but there are divisions in the administration about what to do, according to sources familiar with the matter.

"How sadly ironic and short-sighted it would be if, soon after singing the praises of the repressive leaders of Russia, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, President Trump were to return to a failed 55-year-old policy of sanctions and ultimatums against tiny Cuba", U.S. Sen.

The Obama administration carried out a string of regulatory actions aimed at easing trade and travel restrictions with Cuba, which has been widely popular with the US business community and a growing number of GOP lawmakers. Continuing U.S. -Cuban relationship appears to be a way to both increase U.S. employment and federal revenue.

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