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A Very Bad Deal for Washington: Rolling Back Cuba Policies Would Cost $6.6B

© AFP 2023 / YAMIL LAGE Cuban and US flags are seen outside the private restaurant La Moneda Cubana in Havana on March 17, 2016
Cuban and US flags are seen outside the private restaurant La Moneda Cubana in Havana on March 17, 2016 - Sputnik International
A report by an anti-embargo advocacy group projects that backing off the newfound commercial and diplomatic relationship with Cuba forged under President Barack Obama would not be economically advisable for the Trump administration.

Engage Cuba has estimated that completely dismantling Obama's historic rapprochement with Cuba would cost the US economy $6.6 billion and 12,295 jobs over the course of Trump's first term in office alone.

"If President Trump rolled back our Cuba policy, he would add job-killing government regulations on US businesses." James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, said in the report, released on Thursday.

"This directly conflicts with President Trump's campaign promises of removing onerous regulations and red tape on US businesses."

Williams pointed out that rapprochement with Cuba has largely benefited American companies, created thousands of new jobs and has boosted Cuba's progressing private sector.

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Sources familiar with the matter say the White House is divided on how to approach the communist government in Havana following a series of regulatory actions under Obama that eased trade and travel restrictions with Cuba. The policies have been widely popular with the US business community and GOP lawmakers.

Since Obama announced a new era in US-Cuba relations, direct flights to the island have resumed, and several major US companies, such as AirBnb, TripAdvisor and a number of telecommunications providers, have taken advantage of the opportunity.

According to the report, the airline sector alone would lose about $2 billion in revenue over the next four years, were Trump to reverse Cuba policies. But manufacturing, tourism, farming and shipping industries would also be hurt.

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