Cuba, US trade limits lifted

  • 15/10/2016
A Cuban man smokes a cigar while riding his bike in downtown Havana (Reuters)
A Cuban man smokes a cigar while riding his bike in downtown Havana (Reuters)

The United States has made new measures to further ease trade, travel and financial restrictions on Cuba.

It comes as President Barack Obama seeks to make his opening to the communist-ruled island irreversible before he leaves office in January.

It's good news for tourists, as the changes lift limits on the amount of Cuban rum and cigars US travellers can bring home for personal use.

The changes, the latest in a series of new rules since the two former Cold War foes began normalising relations in December 2014, will allow export to Cuba of some US consumer goods sold online.

They'll also let US firms improve Cuban infrastructure for humanitarian purposes, the US Treasury and Commerce Departments said in a statement on Friday.

The measures are contained in the latest Obama administration order on Cuba to sidestep the Republican-controlled Congress.

The US Congress has resisted Obama's call to lift Washington's more than five-decade-old economic embargo on Cuba.

Other changes announced on Friday include allowing US companies to provide safety-related services for commercial aircraft in Cuba, where US airlines are beginning regularly scheduled flights, and allow Cuban pharmaceutical companies to apply for US Food and Drug Administration approval.