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The Consequences of Reversing Obama’s Cuba Policy for Business Travelers

Trump Threatens Reversal for Obama’s Cuba Policy

It is no secret that 72 percent of Americans supported the ending of the trade embargo on Cuba; this is according to a Pew report of July 2015. Nearly the same number of people supported re-establishment of diplomatic ties with Cuba. The main reason why Cuba is important to the business traveler are the business opportunities in the island. After the successful re-establishment of diplomatic and trade ties albeit in the infancy stage; more and more American investors have had their eye on Cuba. As a result of this, more and more flights to Cuba have started; and there has been more than a 50 percent rise in visitors to the island in just the past year. With investors looking at a myriad of sectors from agriculture to hospitality. However, this rosy picture has been watered by threats to reverse this new cooperation between Cuba and the United States. Specifically, president elect Trump has in the past alluded to revisiting the policy for possible reversal.

The negative consequences are more to the business traveler if Mr. Trump goes ahead to reverse the gains by the Obama administration. The obvious repercussion is the suffering of businesses in the US. Forfeited earnings and loses therein from Cuba literally cost the US around 1.2 billion annually. Businesses cannot trade as they desire and this scenario has done more harm than good when the embargo was still in effect. The business traveler will be limited in terms of scouting for new frontiers in Cuba. This not to mention that Cuban businesses will suffer loss of income in many sectors; among them the tourism front.

The reversal of the trade and diplomatic ties with Cuba would literally render investments by US businesses void. Many Americans have rushed to put in resources in various investments in which they will be looking to reap. This initial investment will be lost and business travelers can only count their loses. The savvy business traveler is also looking for growth and learning opportunities. With a reversal of the policy, economic and cultural integration will suffer greatly.

There is really nothing positive to look forward to if Cuba is closed up again to the US business world. Years of the embargo have proven that both countries will lose in terms of trade. In this regard, the business community can only hope that Mr. Trump will indeed consider the merits before making any haste decisions regarding Cuba.

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Lynn Farrell