14ymedio, Havana, 30 January 2018 — US food exports to Cuba reached US $250 million in 2017, which represented a $50 million increase over the previous year. According to data published on Monday by the Economic Council on US-Cuba Commerce, chicken remains the flagship product accounting for half of total sales of agricultural products.
Despite the hardening of the policy towards Cuba initiated by Donald Trump’s administration in June of last year, US sales grew during the second half of 2017.
Along with chicken, which for more than a decade has been at the forefront of US exports to the island, Cuba also buys large quantities of soybeans and corn, as a part of the country’s dependence on agricultural imports. The island imports around 80% of what its 11 million inhabitants and 4 million annual tourists consume.
Before the arrival of Trump, the flexibilization measures of his predecessor Barack Obama had allowed an increase in flights, telecommunications, tourism and remittances.
However, all these purchases of food products on the island are made through the intervention of the Cuban State, since the Government of Raúl Castro does not allow its citizens to buy products from the United States individually. This, in turn, makes it difficult for US producers to access all the potential consumers in Cuba.
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