The United States has had a trade embargo on Cuba for almost 50 years now. The original idea of it was to suffocate the communist nation into submission. The country would run out of money and resources. Now, 50 years later, is the embargo outdated? The Cold War is over and the policies and politics of the world have changed. Should the United States lift their trade embargo?
If trade restrictions were lifted, Cuba could be a large importer of United States goods and services. Rengal et al. (2009) say the United States accounted for 70 percent of Cuba’s imports before the revolution. Rengal et al. also state that hotel, oil, manufacturing, and service industries are missing opportunities that foreign competitors are getting. The world is becoming more globalized, more competitive, and the US needs to be taking advantage of these missed opportunities. Cuba will be a great avenue for revenue in the economically hurt United States. A good example of this would be in the medical and agricultural fields.
Bill Clinton signed legislation in 2000 that allowed for some agricultural and medical shipments to Cuba (“AG Trade and Cuba,” 2010). This legislation has resulted in exports from $7 million in 2000 to $711.5 million in 2008 (“AG Trade and Cuba”). This rapid growth shows that there is a large untapped market for American businesses in Cuba. These startling numbers were produced with the trade embargo still limiting trade. Imagine how much business could be done with a free market available. Robinson (2008) says that if embargoes were lifted, Cuba would become the second largest importer of rice from the United States. Robinson says that imports of rice would increase from 60,000 tons annually to 350,000 tons. With the loss of extra sales, jobs and transportation, Robinson estimates that the US is missing out on $2 billion. That amount of money would help with the national debt. It would also create many jobs in a time where unemployment is very high. Robinson says...
References: AG trade and Cuba. (2009). National Hog Farmer.
Commerce secretary defends Cuba embargo. (2007). Florida Shipper.
Donohue, T., Rangel, C. (2009, May 5). Rangel,Donohue call for end to embargo
against Cuba. Congress Daily
Robinson, E. (2008 Feb. 11). Open Cuban market would benefit U.S. rice. Delta Farm
UN vote condemns US embargo on Cuba. (2009 Oct. 28). America’s Intelligent Wire.
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