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Obama Administration Begins Opening Doors for Cuba Manufacturing

It will be the first U.S. factory in Cuba in more than half a century.

The Obama administration has approved the first U.S. factory in Cuba in more than half a century, allowing a company from Alabama to build a plant assembling as many as 1,000 small tractors a year for sale to private farmers in Cuba.

According to the AP, the Treasury Department last week notified the two person company that they can legally build tractors and other heavy equipment in a special economic zone started by the Cuban government to attract foreign investment.

In November, USA Today reported that dozens of U.S. businesses attended a trade fair in Cuba, including American companies exploring trade opportunities, from giants such as Cargill and Caterpillar to smaller enterprises such as Cleber and the Oregon-based Ninkasi Brewery Co. looking to sell its beer to the island.

But, as Reuters recently pointed out, many are still unclear how to make money in a Communist-ruled country of 11 million people who have little purchasing power – saying that some businesses may simply be attracted to the “forbidden fruit” of an island that’s been geographically close, but largely off limits

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