Most trades between Cuba and the United States have been frozen for the last fifty years. 1962 saw a strict increase on restrictions for imported and exported produce between both countries. In 2001 very few agricultural trades were allowed to Cuba.
Despite maintaining small trades, the United States lost over a $ 1billion in potential trade a year. Cuba suffered similarly with over $ 600million in losses. “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 and exporters within the industry,” explains John Vena, an American importer/exporter at John Vena, Inc. “Currently we export some specialty produce items to Puerto Rico. I believe many of these items will find a market with Cuba as trade relations redevelop.”
The end of the embargo will make it infinitely easier for American fruit and vegetable growers to export to Cuba, as well as for Cuban produce to be imported. “Cuba will have the ability to grow products American importers are searching for, especially tropical and ethnic varieties that we currently import from further markets.”
Since Cuba is the largest Caribbean country, exporters are enthusiastic about prospective trade relations. However, which items to be imported may vary, “it will depend on the first companies to invest and develop the logistic infrastructure needed., states Vena, “there should be an opportunity to redevelop the tomato industry which flourished before the embargo took effect.”