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Cuban Barriers to Trade and Investment to be Focus of Expanded ITC Study

Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, recently asked the International Trade Commission to expand a study the committee requested last December in connection with U.S. moves to improve economic relations with Cuba. The ongoing investigation is focused on the effect of the U.S. embargo against Cuba on exports of goods and services to that country, but Hatch now wants the ITC to also look at the effect of factors inside Cuba itself. As a result, the ITC’s report is expected to be delayed from Sept. 15 to March 17, 2016.

Hatch said the expanded investigation should include a qualitative analysis of existing Cuban non-tariff measures, institutional and infrastructural factors, and other barriers that inhibit or affect the ability of U.S. and non-U.S. firms to conduct business in and with Cuba. Examples include restrictions on trade and investment, property rights and ownership, customs duties and procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, state trading, intellectual property rights protection, and infrastructure as it affects telecommunications, port facilities, and the storage, transport and distribution of goods. Hatch also wants the ITC to provide (a) a qualitative analysis of any effects that such measures, factors and barriers would have on U.S. exports of goods and services to Cuba should the U.S. lift its embargo and (b) a quantitative analysis of the aggregate effects of Cuban tariff and non-tariff measures on the ability of U.S. and non-U.S. firms to conduct business in and with Cuba.

Click here to access ST&R’s on-demand webinar: “Cuba at the Crossroads, New Policies, Laws and Potential Opportunities.”

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