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Right now a 'key moment' for EU: Former Commerce Secretary

In the wake of last week's Brexit vote, former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez called right now a "key moment" for the European Union and its regulatory policies.

"The trend has been toward more centralizing, and the number of regulations that have come out of Brussels is significant," Gutierrez—a former Kellogg CEO—said Friday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

"If it keeps taking autonomy away from the countries, that one project mechanism that was designed to keep peace could be exactly what unravels the European Union," he added.

Gutierrez said the regulations that are currently coming from Brussels are hindering European business when bureaucrats should be seeking to help businesses. He also said the EU was incomparable to the U.S.'s North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

"NAFTA is fine the way it is, it's a commercial relationship," Gutierrez said, adding that North America would be making a mistake similar to Europe if it moved towards a common currency.

Later on the show, Gutierrez discussed the economic opportunities awaiting American companies in Cuba.

"Carnival cruise ships are arriving in Havana, we will very soon have commercial flights to Cuba," Gutierrez said, but lamented the lack of banking availability in the island country for American tourists. The U.S. recently renewed its relations with Cuba after decades of separation under an embargo.

"I think that U.S. companies, U.S. banks should be paying more attention to the Cuban opportunity," Gutierrez said.