In December of 2014, United States President Barack Obama made a monumental announcement that he planned to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba after the 50-year embargo. The embargo was to be kept in place, but steps were to be taken to loosen it. An embassy was to be built in Cuba to increase diplomatic ties. Measures were taken to increase financial freedoms between the two countries.
Economy and Development
In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s many Latin American countries adopted neoliberal economic policies. Many countries faced negative economic and social results due to the policy shift and reverted to more domestic oriented markets. With that said, in recent years many Latin American countries, such as Brazil, have pushed back into neoliberalist policies. This comes as especially odd considering many global economic powers such as the US, UK, and China are shifting to domestic focused and protectionist policies.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect on January 1st, 1994. The goal of the agreement was to eliminate barriers to help promote positive trade and investment between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To accomplish this, tariffs were eradicated over time and almost “all duties and quantitative restrictions…were eliminated by 2008,” (“North American Free Trade Agreement”).
In December of 2017, Donald Trump signed the new GOP tax bill rearranging and recreating the way our country collects its dues. This bill affects every state in the Union, but it also affects one curious case in the Northeast Caribbean – Puerto Rico. The bill includes a new 12.5 percent tax on profits derived from intellectual property held by foreign companies. For Puerto Rico, this means it is treated differently from every other state. The new policy is designed to back the “America First” trademark of the Trump administration by bringing home American companies.