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U.S. firms attend trade fair in Havana

Tuesday, November 01, 2016 - 01:20

American companies hope to grow business in Cuba, but the 54-year-old trade embargo creates some uncertainties. Fred Katayama reports.

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U.S. companies hawking everything, from shipping to suds alongside Cohiba cigars, at Cuba's trade fair in Havana. The annual event occurring seven months after President Obama made the first visit to Cuba by a sitting American president since 1928. But despite the diplomatic opening and easing of trade and travel restrictions, the 54-year-old U.S. trade embargo remains, and that is one of the key obstacles to normalizing relations. Jay Brickman of shipping services firm Crowley Maritime: SOUNDBITE: JAY BRICKMAN, VICE PRESIDENT OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES, CROWLEY MARITIME CORPORATION, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are very confused. We, honestly, still don't understand a lot of the terms, and conditions, and exactly what it means, and what you can do, and what you can't do." But Mike Brown of heavy-duty truck maker Oshkosh is optimistic. SOUNDBITE: MIKE BROWN, VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES MARKET DEVELOPMENT, OSHKOSH CORPORATION, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This is the first time we're showing here in Cuba, and we think that, while the opening process will take some time, eventually, the market will be excellent for us." The Republican controlled Congress has resisted Obama's call to lift the economic embargo, saying he makes too many concessions with little in return on human rights. As for Cuba, it's counting on foreign investment as one of its key reforms to "update" its socialist model.

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U.S. firms attend trade fair in Havana

Tuesday, November 01, 2016 - 01:20