The Hill Publishes Op-Ed by Anya Landau French on U.S. Business Opportunities in Cuba
The Hill has published “Despite policy changes, many opportunities remain for US businesses in Cuba,” an op-ed written by Akin Gump senior policy advisor Anya Landau French. In the article, Landau French discusses the impact of long-awaited regulations by the Trump administration on U.S. companies seeking to do business in Cuba.
Landau French writes that the new regulations block business “with certain Cuban entities owned or controlled by Cuban military, intelligence or security services.” They also restrict individual people to people travel to the island. But the impact of the rules, she writes, “is expected to be mostly on the tourism sector in Cuba, and on projects contemplated for Cuba’s new Special Economic Development Zone at the port of Mariel.”
Since the new rules do not affect existing business arrangements in Cuba, Landau French observes that “the U.S. legal and regulatory landscape shaping potential opportunities for American companies interested in Cuba remains largely the same as it was at the end of Obama administration,” as long as U.S. companies follow the law.
Landau French then notes several factors unaffected by the U.S. political climate, which she says provide a basis for the U.S. business community to remain engaged in Cuba this year. She says there continue to be opportunities in many other sectors as well, including agricultural trade where the United States has a clear competitive edge.
Landau French predicts that U.S. companies “that continue to engage in the Cuban market in 2018 will build an advantage that many struggled to gain during the Obama détente when Cuban business representatives were inundated with American companies’ visits.” In the current climate, she adds, U.S. companies “have a unique opportunity to build and leverage good-will that can pay real dividends in the country over time.”
Concluding, Landau French says that those businesses that maintain open lines of communication with their Cuban counterparts, continue exploratory business missions to the island and pursue legal business opportunities “will gain the greatest advantages in Cuba over their competitors who show up later.” In addition, those businesses that stay in Cuba “will have the opportunity to build and leverage substantial goodwill into the country’s future.”
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