Trade group says top Obama officials visiting Cuba this fall
By SUSAN CRABTREE (@SUSANCRABTREE) • 9/15/15 7:37 PM
A small trade group focused on promoting American business ties with
Cuba says Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker, and possibly
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, are planning to visit Cuba this fall.
John Kavulich of the U.S. Cuba Trade and Economic Council said
Pritzker’s travel to the island nation “perhaps” will take place in
early November in conjunction with the Havana International Trade Fair.
The Commerce Department declined to comment about Pritzker’s possible
travel plans. But during keynote remarks at an event sponsored by the
Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the Tampa International airport,
Pritzker said she anticipated regulations allowing U.S. companies to
participate in upgrading Cuba’s telecom infrastructure and Internet and
consumer communications devices.
In April, Pritzker said she would lead a delegation to Cuba as soon as
the two countries have normalized relations and opened embassies in each
While Pritzker’s schedule is likely up to her and her alone, Kavulich
used his release to argue that she should travel either in December in
January, and that she should attend with representatives of the
International Trade Commission and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
By that time, he said, the Cuban government may have issued regulations
approving purchases relating to product exports and imports first
proposed by the U.S. in December when Obama announced the historic
change to U.S.-Cuba relations.
“A visit by Secretary Pritzker should only arise subsequent to the
government of the Republic of Cuba having purchased products and
permitted the provision of services as outlined in December 2014, not as
a means of seeking the purchase of products and provision of services,”
Kavulich said. “The visit needs to be a reward, not an inducement.”
Source: Trade group says top Obama officials visiting Cuba this fall |
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