Law360 Quotes David Phelps and Wynn Segall on Impact of Policy Changes on Real Estate Investment in Cuba

The Law360 article “Policy Changes Could Slow Real Estate Investment In Cuba,” quotes David Phelps and Wynn Segall, partners in Akin Gump’s real estate and international trade practices, respectively, on the impact of President Trump’s decision to re-impose restrictions on U.S. real estate development and investment in Cuba.

Mr. Trump has indicated that a ban on doing business with certain Cuban military intelligence entities will be coming at some point, but the article reports that investors and developers are waiting for more clarity on what shape the changes will take. The White House has ordered various departments to come up with a list of Cuban entities tied to the country’s military intelligence, intending to put restrictions on U.S. companies doing deals with them.

For those developers considering business in Cuba, Phelps said, “It’s going to depend upon which Cuban entities are on a restricted list.”

Perhaps surprisingly, the article notes, is that President Trump is not taking as comprehensive an approach toward Cuba as he had previously hinted. In addition, despite the announcement, laws remain unchanged and it could take months before there are any regulatory changes in place. The normal procedure, as the article points out, would be for a President to make a statement along with an order that has an immediate effect.

“It’s the only instance that I know of in which action to announce a new U.S. sanction policy has not been done in the ... usual manner,” said Segall. “That’s extraordinary, unusual and important. It opens the process.”