WTCGP President Conlin attends recent White House Business Council briefing on new course in relations between Cuba and U.S.
On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, organized by the White House Business Council, senior White House and Administration Officials provided an update on current and prospective business opportunities available with the restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. Nearly 200 businesses and representatives from business organizations from throughout the country were in attendance, representing diverse sectors of the economy, from agriculture and construction and engineering to energy and healthcare.
Attendees were briefed by senior Administration officials from Departments directly responsible for overseeing the application of current U.S. – Cuba policy. These included officials from the U.S. Departments of State, Treasury, and Commerce. These representatives underscored that the trade embargo remains in place; however, since President Obama’s announcement of the normalization in relations in December, 2014, there have been changes in regulations governing sanctions. In addition to tourism, many of the sectors where trade is allowed relate to areas of need for the Cuban people, including agriculture, health, and communications connectivity. Permitted exports to Cuba are governed by various levels of licenses: a general license, exceptions to a general license, and a special license granted (See below for addressing inquiries to relevant U.S. government Departments.).
Participants later attended a reception at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, hosted by Cuban Ambassador to the United States Jose Cabanas. At the reception, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia President Linda Mysliwy Conlin had the opportunity to discuss a future trade mission from Greater Philadelphia with Deputy Chief of Mission Juan Leon, and World Trade Center Arkansas President and CEO Dan Hendrix. WTC Arkansas has completed one mission to Cuba, largely focused on agriculture, and is in the process of organizing a second mission.
U.S. government trade with Cuba resources: