U.S. Economic Relations With Cuba]

Gao ID: 151076 March 15, 1994

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed U.S. economic relations with Cuba, focusing on: (1) claims filed by U.S. nationals against Cuba; (2) blocked Cuban assets in the United States; (3) trade between Cuba and foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies; (4) Cuba's potential as a U.S. export market; and (5) the effect of lifting the U.S embargo on the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) program. GAO found that: (1) 5,911 approved claims totalling $1.85 billion have been filed against Cuba and 2,905 claims have been denied, but no approved claims have been paid; (2) blocked Cuban assets total about $130 million, but most of these assets do not represent anything of value for settlement purposes; (3) between 1980 and 1992, the Department of the Treasury issued 2,938 licenses for foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms to trade with Cuba and authorized $407 million in exports to Cuba; (4) exports to Cuba could range between $1.3 billion and $2 billion and U.S. concerns could capture up to one-half of Cuba's $4-billion import market if the embargo is lifted; and (5) the impact of lifting the Cuban embargo on the CBI program cannot be predicted, since it is difficult to measure CBI program effectiveness and economic development in CBI countries.

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