NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. companies do not expect to see any short-term gain in exports or sales due to President Barack Obama's decision to normalize relations with Cuba, halt the trade embargo and allow limited direct travel for the first time in decades.
With the average Cuban citizen earning a small sum in internationally exchageable currency, the island isn't a mouth-watering untapped market for smartphones, cars, dishwashers or just about any other consumer product. Most U.S. corporations appreciate Cuba's longer term potential, but aren't loading freighters with product and sailing them to Havana.
But the U.S. already does have trade relations to Cuba, and corporations would like to see it expand. The U.S. exported $349 million worth of goods to Cuba in 2013, according to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council from a peak of $781 million in 2008. Several companies, including, Microsoft (MSFT) , Google (GOOGL) and Sabre Corp.'s (SABR) Travelocity contacted by TheStreet had no comment at this time on the development.
For those companies that did have some thoughts on opening trade with Cuba the general theme is that companies are keeping an eye on recent developments, but no plans are in the works to take advantage of the situation. This holds true even for the auto industry, which should be poised to help replace the massive fleet of 1950s cars still operating on the island.
"We are reviewing the initiative to determine its potential impact for the auto industry," said Ford Motor (F) spokeswoman Susan Krusel.
General Motors (GM) offered a similar view.
"There isn't much to say at this time, since so much remains to be decided. Nevertheless, we're very encouraged by the news on Cuba. We will certainly evaluate any opportunities that may present themselves," said GM spokesman James Cain.