U.S. Chamber Launches U.S.-Cuba Business Council

Friday, September 25, 2015 - 2:00pm

Council is Next Step in Chamber’s Commitment to Growth, Investment in Cuba

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today launched the U.S.-Cuba Business Council (USCBC), a formal commitment by the American business community to build a strong and strategic commercial relationship between Cuba and the United States.

“We’re facing a historic opportunity to support a vital and growing Cuban private sector, one that is defined by entrepreneurs whose expanding efforts show that the spirit of free enterprise is already taking hold in the country,” said Tom Donohue, U.S. Chamber President and CEO. “This council will work tirelessly to ensure that both countries can take advantage of the new avenues for trade, investment and economic cooperation in the bilateral relationship.”

The council will lead strategic efforts to maximize the potential of the U.S.-Cuba economic and trade partnership. By advocating for reforms in both the United States and Cuba, the USCBC’s agenda aims to ultimately enhance commercial and investment opportunities for U.S. companies in Cuba and afford economic benefits directly to the Cuban people.

“For too long, the U.S.-Cuban relationship has been defined by its differences and burdened by its past, while lacking a clear path forward,” said Jodi Bond, the U.S. Chamber’s vice president of the Americas. “The launch of the business council serves as another step toward the opening of a new chapter in relations between our countries.”

USCBC will seek to work with the U.S. Congress, respective public and private sectors, and other key stakeholders to remove barriers to trade and create jobs, growth and prosperity in both countries. Additionally, the council will urge the Cuban government to continue to make policy changes to lessen government control or ownership of Cuban businesses.

International trade and investment are key components of the Chamber’s 2015 American Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda, an ambitious plan to help revitalize the American economy, create jobs, spur growth, and lift incomes.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 70 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.