aNewDomain — The Senate Finance Committee is actively researching the economic impact of the U.S. trade restrictions with Cuba. I was one of the experts it called to testify before the U.S. International Trade Commission.
I was supposed to describe the effects of the U.S. restrictions on the exporting of telecommunication equipment and services to Cuba. I drafted a testimony, which I still have time to edit and revise before the final submission is due. Want to help? The introduction to my draft testimony is below, or you can download a longer draft of it as a PDF or Word document. If you want to leave feedback, feel free to leave comments below.
Here is the introduction to my testimony:
The Commission has asked for testimony on the effects of the U.S. trade restrictions on our telecommunication exports to Cuba.
Because there is so much uncertainty about Cuban plans and policies, U.S. policy as it pertains to Cuba is also in a state of flux. I will lay out a framework for discussing the issue rather than attempting specific predictions. This framework can be modified and fleshed out by future research.
I will focus on Internet-based telecommunications, which are subsuming traditional telephony.
Potential U.S. exports to Cuba include:
- Personal Internet access devices
- Internet services for fees or advertising
- Internet infrastructure
- Internet service provision
- Digital entertainment and other content
- Sensor-based Internet access devices – “the Internet of things.”
Some of these markets, for example, providing Internet infrastructure and service, are more severely impacted by U.S. restrictions than others.
U.S. restrictions are only one impediment to the sale of these goods and services – there are others that are out of our control:
- Cuban government fear of free information exchange
- The Cuban economy
- The absence of domestic Internet infrastructure
- Socialist values and practices
- Foreign competition
- Domestic competition from state monopolies
This is an exciting time for progress on telecommunications in Cuba and relations between Cuba and the U.S.
I’ll keep you up to date on my progress.
Ed: A version of this story ran on Larry Press’ laredcubana. Read it here.
Featured image: Courtesy U.S. International Trade Commission