It may not be economically viable for the Trump administration to achieve the political goal of rolling back Obama’s policies regarding rapprochement with Cuba.
A report put together by Engage Cuba, an anti-embargo advocacy group, projects that a dismantling of Obama’s regulatory framework surrounding our newfound commercial relationship with Cuba would cost the American economy $6.6 billion and 12,295 jobs in Trump’s first term alone.
James Williams, President of Engage Cuba, made his take on the matter clear: “If President Trump rolled back our Cuba policy, he would add job-killing government regulations on U.S. businesses. This directly conflicts with President Trump’s campaign promises of removing onerous regulations and red tape on U.S. businesses.”
The quote highlights the conflict airing in the White House: What to do with Obama’s GOP-friendly policies after a campaign that promised the detonation of all of them.
Indeed Obama regulations that eased trade and travel restrictions with Cuba were popular among the US business community and GOP lawmakers. Almost all of the United States major tourism firms have taken advantage of the regulations as seven US airlines can now fly directly to Cuba.
AirBnB, Expedia and TripAdvisor offer their services on the island and the four major telecommunications networks have also connected with Cuba.
The report bases its projections off of the assumption of a complete reversal of Obama’s policies and concludes that the manufacturing, tourism, farming and shipping industries would be hit hardest with the airlines losing $2 billion by themselves.
Anti-embargo advocates will use these projections to fight a roll back of Obama’s policies on the grounds of Trump’s pro-business campaign sentiment.
Ben Brady, Dennis Michael Lynch
June 1, 2017