Harry Clark Offers Insights On President Trump's Recently Announced Policy Shift Toward Cuba

June.20.2017

Orrick partner Harry Clark, leader of the firm’s International Trade & Compliance team, spoke to The Wall Street Journal and CNBC on President Trump’s recent shift of U.S. policy toward Cuba. The changes seek to tighten travel restrictions for U.S. citizens and curb commercial dealings with the government in Havana.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal [subscription required], Harry stressed that “nothing’s happening now”, and added that he wasn’t sure the rollback would have much of an effect on companies. “It wasn’t U.S. policy, even under [President Barack] Obama, to allow U.S. companies to engage in Cuba in ways that involved the Cuban military or the Cuban security services. It may have happened, but it wasn’t supposed to happen,” he told the publication. Citing an “exaggeration on both sides” of policy liberalization under President Obama and policy rollback under President Trump, Harry concluded by stating, “I don’t see this as being that big of a deal”.

CNBC included Harry’s observation that President Trump’s moratorium on solo travel to Cuba while still allowing group trips to continue amounts to little more than a clarification of existing policy. "All the Trump administration is saying is, 'there's one thing we're going to change, and that is we're no longer going to permit individual travelers to purport to be traveling to Cuba under the education exemption’” he said.