Rimco becomes the new CAT dealer for Cuba

By Staff Writer

Feb 11, 2016 07:33 PM EST

Caterpillar Inc. announced on Wednesday, it has joined hands with its long-term partner, Rimco, to be the official CAT dealer in Cuba once the 55-year-old trade embargo lifts. The construction equipment manufacturer had always been for lifting the restrictions that came in between Cuba and the United States.

Caterpillar's association with the Puerto Rican establishment goes back more than three decades. "We're exceptionally proud of our 34-year relationship with Caterpillar," said Richard F. McConnie, President of Rimco, according to PR Newswire. "There is great affinity between Cuba and Puerto Rico as a result of our shared language, culture and traditions. Rimco will be honored to serve the Cuba market once the United States and Cuba re-establish commercial relations."

Vice President Philip Kelliher, who oversees the Americas & Europe Distribution Services Division, is equally pleased to step into this partnership with Rimco. The earth movers have been an advocate for removing the trade hurdles with Cuba for nearly two decades. "Cuba needs access to the types of products that Caterpillar makes and, upon easing of trade restrictions, we look forward to providing the equipment needed to contribute to the building of Cuba's infrastructure," said Philip Kelliher in his statement, as per USA Today.

The Obama administration followed up on their 2014 proposal and relaxed some laws on American trade and investments, which mainly focuses on financing exports and re-exports to the island as well as encourages the travel companies who've long been eyeing the Caribbean market. However, currently, it does not really include the kind of equipment the CAT specializes in, like construction and mining equipment, power systems, and marine and industrial engines. To this, the company very succinctly put, "Think of it as a track meet. This puts us in the starting block and lets policymakers know we're ready to go as soon as the embargo is lifted," according to Miami Herald.

Caterpillar shares fell by 2.8%, to $62.14, following the Cuban speculations. But the company holds on to its propaganda that it has been voicing for so many years now. In a recent press release, the Caterpillar chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman sent out a strong message to the Republican-led Congress asking them to do their bit towards ending the cold war with the island inhabitants and removing trade barriers completely.  Oberhelman feels, "it is now time to unleash the full power of engagement by fully normalizing relations." An opportunity to integrate itself into the global economy is all Cuba needs to improve the everyday lives of the islanders.

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