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U.S. interest in Cuba wilts

Friday, November 10, 2017 - 01:19

Just 13 U.S. companies exhibited at this year's big trade fair in Havana, down from 33 companies last year. As Fred Katayama reports, Donald Trump's policies may be partly to blame.

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U.S. companies are losing their interest in Cuba. Caterpillar was one of just 13 American companies exhibiting at the island's premier business event, the annual trade fair. That's down from 33 companies last year. And that pales in comparison to the 150 businesses from Spain. Crowley Maritime vice president Jay Brickman partly blames President Donald Trump. SOUNDBITE: JAY BRICKMAN, VICE PRESIDENT OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES, CROWLEY MARITIME CORPORATION, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There's no question that some of the policies that the President of the United States has taken has discouraged some people from pursuing interests in Cuba. I think that's absolutely true." In June, Trump ordered tighter trade and travel restrictions. Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez heads the U.S.-Cuba Business Council. SOUNDBITE: CARLOS GUTIERREZ, HEAD, U.S.-BUSINESS COUNCIL, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Every day that goes by is just the missed opportunity where someone else is building a brand, someone else is building awareness among Cubans." Dampening enthusiasm for Cuba: growing awareness at how difficult it is trade with the cash-strapped country and worsening relations between Havana and Washington. The U.S. has complained that sonic attacks have sickened American diplomats in Havana.

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U.S. interest in Cuba wilts

Friday, November 10, 2017 - 01:19