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White House says Biden will reassess Trump’s Cuba policy | Donald Trump News

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Donald Trump clamped down on Cuba after taking office in 2017 tightening restrictions on US travel and remittances.

The administration of President Joe Biden will review US policy on Cuba, the White House said on Thursday, after former President Donald Trump rolled back a historic Obama-era detente with Havana during his tenure.

“Our Cuba policy is governed by two principles. First, support for democracy and human rights – that will be at the core of our efforts. Second is Americans, especially Cuban Americans, are the best ambassadors for freedom in Cuba. So we’ll review the Trump administration policies,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a news briefing.

Trump, a Republican, clamped down on Cuba after taking office in 2017, tightening restrictions on US travel and remittances to Cuba, and imposing sanctions on shipments of Venezuelan oil to the island.

US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s President Raul Castro shaking hands during their first meeting on the second day of Obama’s visit to Cuba, in Havana on March 21, 2016 [File: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

The policy was popular among the large Cuban-American population in South Florida, helping Trump win the state in November though he lost the election to Democrat Biden.

Nine days before Trump left office, his administration announced on January 11 it was returning Cuba to the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move that could complicate Biden’s efforts to revive improved relations with the Communist-run nation.

A top official in Cuba told Reuters last week that the island nation is hopeful that Biden will swiftly reverse his predecessor’s hardline approach and resume the policy of detente begun by the administration of former President Barack Obama in 2015.

Removing Cuba from the blacklist had been one of Obama’s main foreign policy achievements as he sought to improve relations with the island, an effort which Biden as his vice president at the time, endorsed. Ties had been essentially frozen after Fidel Castro took power in 1959.



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US debt projected to balloon to more than double GDP by 2051 | Debt News

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The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office warned that by 2051, the United States’ debt will skyrocket to 202 percent of its gross domestic product, up from 102 percent this year.

The U.S. federal debt will grow to more than double the size of the economy in three decades, increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis even though dangers appear low in the near term, the Congressional Budget Office said.

Debt will be equivalent to 202% of gross domestic product by 2051 from 102% this year, the nonpartisan arm of the legislature said Thursday in its long-term budget outlook. Its projection for 195% in 2050 was unchanged from the prior report, whose forecasts ran through that year.

Net interest payments on the debt are expected to remain relatively low for the next decade, then rise rapidly over the following 20 years, the CBO said. The agency projects 10-year Treasury yield, after inflation, at 2.6% in 2050. The nominal yield was at 1.54%, near the highest in more than a year, on Thursday.

The CBO also said that the two Social Security trust funds, for seniors and people with disabilities, will be exhausted later than the agency projected last year.

The report — which doesn’t reflect the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan currently working its way through Congress — follows the selloff in Treasuries over the past week that sent yields spiking. Investors are gaining more confidence that rates will move up, with U.S. growth and the labor market set for a stronger-than-expected uptick as vaccines roll out and states lift restrictions.

The CBO outlook’s debt projections will likely underpin already-firm opposition by Republicans to the relief plan, and could also concern some Democratic lawmakers as President Joe Biden prepares a followup multitrillion-dollar plan to build infrastructure and boost the economy in other ways.

“The risk of a fiscal crisis appears to be low in the short run despite the higher deficits and debt stemming from the pandemic,” the CBO said in the report. “Nonetheless, the much higher debt over time would raise the risk of a fiscal crisis in the years ahead.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that the U.S. economy still has a long way to go before the central bank considers tightening, and underscored that the low-inflation world of the past several decades is unlikely to change.



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