Cuba Decision by President Trump Worries U.S. Companies

President Donald Trump announced that he would be canceling the deal former President Obama made with Cuba. However, that agreement was a good one for many businesses in the U.S.

Many firms in the U.S. welcomed the new market that became available when Obama relaxed U.S. laws against doing business with the Caribbean island nation located just 90 miles off the U.S. coast.

However, Trump now wants stricter enforcement of the ban on tourism and will stop commerce with businesses in Cuba that are owned by intelligence and military services.

That could be bad for both construction and travel companies, which have already started building a presence on the Caribbean island and many are not happy about it.

On Friday, the changes were decried by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

The head of the chamber’s international affairs Myron Brilliant said that the unfortunate moves made by the president limit possibilities for positive change in Cuba and risk ceding opportunities for growth to other nations that, might not share the interest of the U.S. in a democratic and free Cuba.

Rex Tillerson the Secretary of State said that the inaction by Cuba on its human rights is a big reason the shift in policy was announced.

Caterpillar, which had for a long time called for the government in the U.S. to end its trade embargo, weighed in as well.

The heavy equipment maker has worked to reenter the market in Cuba since the Obama administration made the announcement in 2014 that diplomatic relations would be reestablished.

Caterpillar said it believes engagement with the Caribbean island nation continues to be a strong opportunity and not just for businesses in the U.S., but to serve as a strong tool for much change.

Many hospitality companies have doubled down their development projects which leaves them quite exposed to Trump’s decision.

Airbnb is planning to speak with the White House administration and Congress in the upcoming weeks. Since April of 2015, the short term lodging startup said it had hosted more than 560,000 guests on the island.

Marriott noted it had invested a significant number of resources to shore up its operation in Cuba, with one hotel now open and another being built.

American Airlines said it has urged its customers that are planning a trip to Cuba to watch closely for any updates from the government in Washington.

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