Canadian companies at risk with US allowing lawsuits against foreign companies

According to a story in the Canadian Press the landmark tightening of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba’s communist government represents a major shift in U.S. foreign policy — one that now could place Canadian mining, tourism and financial services companies at risk in American courts.

The Trump administration has indicated that it will now be allowing lawsuits against foreign companies connected to properties seized from American firms during the Cuban revolution  — including Canadian businesses.

The online story shared that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated that the move will  take effect early next month and it is is rooted in Cuba’s ongoing support of Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government in Venezuela.

“Cuba’s behaviour in the Western Hemisphere undermines security and stability of countries throughout the region, which directly threatens United States national security interests,” Pompeo was quoted as saying.

Canada and its European allies have pushed the Trump administration to continue to suspend use of the dormant Title III section of the 1996 Helms Burton Act, which allows Americans to sue foreign companies linked to Cuban properties that were confiscated after the revolution in 1959.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said recently it was concerned about the potential impact on Canadian companies with operations in Cuba, particularly those in the mining, financial services and tourism sectors.