U.S. Chamber Welcomes Progress in U.S.-Cuba Relations

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 12:30pm

Donohue Says, ‘Steps Announced Today Will Go A Long Way In Allowing Opportunities for Free Enterprise to Flourish’

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue today issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement that the U.S. government will take steps to normalize relations with Cuba:

“The U.S. business community welcomes today’s announcement, and has long supported many of the economic provisions the president touched on in his remarks. We deeply believe that an open dialogue and commercial exchange between the U.S. and Cuban private sectors will bring shared benefits, and the steps announced today will go a long way in allowing opportunities for free enterprise to flourish. In countries around the world, where leaders from across the political spectrum have made a concerted effort to liberalize their economy, we have seen a sharp rise in the quality of life of their citizens.

“As we witnessed on our exploratory trip to Havana earlier this year, Cuba has changed some of its economic policies to lessen government control or ownership of Cuban businesses, and subsequently, their private sector is growing. There is still work to do, on both sides of this relationship, but the changes outlined today are a substantive and positive step forward. It is imperative that the Cuban government build on today’s positive steps with a more ambitious economic reform agenda at home, while we continue to push for the end of the embargo here in Washington.

“The Chamber and its members stand ready to assist as the Cuban people work to unleash the power of free enterprise to improve their lives.”

International trade and investment are key components of the Chamber’s 2014 American Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda, an ambitious plan to generate stronger economic growth, create jobs, and expand opportunity for all Americans.

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.