But there are divisions within his administration over to what extent he should go, especially given that Obama’s opening to Washington’s former Cold War foe has created opportunities for American companies ranging from telecommunications to airlines.
Some aides have argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency promising to unleash U.S. businesses and create jobs, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market.
A group of 54 U.S. senators reintroduced legislation last Thursday to repeal all remaining restrictions on travel to Cuba, signaling support for U.S.-Cuba detente on Capitol Hill.
But the Republican administration has been under heavy pressure from Cuban-American lawmakers such as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart to take a much harder line than Trump’s Democratic predecessor.
There is little support in the administration, however, for a full-scale reversal of Obama’s steps that began with a breakthrough with Cuban President Raul Castro in 2014.
Among the options under consideration are tightening restrictions on U.S. firms doing business with Cuban state or military enterprises and re-imposing stricter rules on Americans traveling there, according to people familiar with the discussions.
It remains unclear, however, which recommendation will make their way to Trump, though the sources said a list was likely to be ready for his consideration in coming days or weeks.
“We’re getting closer,” an administration official said.
An announcement of changes could come as soon as June, according to the official and people familiar with the matter.
The Daily Caller newspaper reported on Sunday that Trump would announce policy changes in a June speech in Miami, citing sources from a group opposed to the broader U.S. economic embargo that remains in place against Cuba.
But the timing could also depend on factors such as whether Trump fills key Latin America posts at the State Department and elsewhere that remain vacant, sources told Reuters.
The White House considered making a Cuba announcement on May 20 to mark the 115th anniversary of Cuba’s independence, but that coincided with Trump’s overseas trip and the review also was not yet finished, the sources said.