Most trades between Cuba and the United States have beenfrozen for the last fifty years. 1962 saw a strict increase on restrictions forimported and exported produce between both countries. In 2001 very few agriculturaltrades were allowed to Cuba.
Despite maintaining small trades, the United States lostover a $1billion in potential trade a year. Cuba suffered similarly with over $600million inlosses. “From my professional point of view, I am very pleased to see it end.Normal trade relations will open the door to opportunities for importers andexporters within the industry,” explains John Vena, an American importer/exporterat John Vena, Inc. “Currently we export some specialty produce items to PuertoRico. I believe many of these items will find a market with Cuba as traderelations redevelop.”
The end of the embargo will make it infinitely easier forAmerican fruit and vegetable growers to export to Cuba, as well as for Cubanproduce to be imported. “Cuba will have the ability to grow products Americanimporters are searching for, especially tropical and ethnic varieties that wecurrently import from further markets.”
Since Cuba is the largest Caribbean country, exporters areenthusiastic about prospective trade relations. However, which items to beimported may vary, “it will depend on the first companies to invest and developthe logistic infrastructure needed., states Vena, “there should be anopportunity to redevelop the tomato industry which flourished before theembargo took effect.”