- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Caterpillar Inc. sees President Barack Obama’s change in U.S. policy toward Cuba as a potential business opportunity.

Bill Lane is the Peoria-based heavy equipment-maker’s global government affairs director. He says the president’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with the island nation is an important step.

Lane says that if longstanding trade restrictions between the two countries are loosened even more, Cuba could become a good market for Caterpillar. He says the underdeveloped island needs to build a modern infrastructure.

Reaction from Illinois’ congressional delegation has been mixed.

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria says the decision makes other countries wonder what the United States stands for.

But fellow Republican congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville says the move promises economic opportunities for the state’s agriculture industry.

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