According to a recent article published by the Associated Press, U.S. exports to Cuba have hit one of their lowest points in more than a decade. The hit is a demonstration of the longstanding barriers to trade that will hamper President Barack Obama's recent move to expand ties.
Figures from the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council show that U.S. farmers sold just slightly more than $253 million worth of food products to Cuba in the first 10 months of 2014. If the statistics of the last two months of the year show similar sales levels, 2014 could be deemed as the worst year for U.S. exports to Cuba since 2004.
New proposals by Obama include relaxed rules on Cuban payments to American farmers, which allows for Cuba to pay for its goods once they have been delivered, rather than before they are ordered. However, the new law will still prohibit any form of credit to Cuba's state-run import agencies.
The repayment terms are often granted by Brazilian and Spanish food companies whose products load the shelves at many of the Cuban grocery stores.
Paul Johnson, vice-chairman of the newly formed U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, said it's going to take the end of this embargo for the U.S. to really be competitive with Cuba. "Our products can't compete with Brazil, Argentina, the EU and China because of the credit issue."
Check out this video presented by The Lempert Report for more info on what this policy will mean for our food supply.
Video Credit: The Lempert Report