Several prominent free market advocates sent a letter to President Trump Wednesday discouraging the anticipated announcement to add travel and trade restrictions with Cuba.
Former President Barack Obama made it easier to travel to Cuba, do business there, re-established diplomatic relations with the island nation, and ended the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that gave Cuban illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Trump is expected to keep diplomatic relations, but make it tougher to travel to Cuba and not allow Americans to conduct business with organizations controlled by or tied to the Cuban military, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Trump threatened to “terminate” these policies made by Obama while on the campaign trail. The Daily Caller previously reported that this policy rollback was made possible due to the behind-the-scenes efforts of Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Republican Florida. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, and Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez. Trump will announce the policy changes Friday in Miami.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Norm Singleton, president of Campaign for Liberty, among other prominent free market advocates wrote in a Wednesday letter that, “reversing the recent improvements in America-Cuba trade and travel would put thousands of U.S. jobs at risk.” A recent analysis from an anti-embargo group said that increased regulations with Cuba would cost the U.S. 12,295 jobs in Trump’s first term.
The letter went on to say, “The United States prospers by engaging with the world. Access to foreign markets unleashes domestic productivity and gives workers a greater range of employment opportunities.”
Rubio, a Cuban policy hardliner, has said that the change is positive as “economic practices that benefit the Cuban military at the expense of the Cuban people will soon be coming to an end.”