Cuban and U.S. trade representatives held a conference to explore expanding American agricultural exports to the island nation. Top officials from Cuba's Agricultural Ministry met with a combined U.S. delegation of businessmen and members of Congress to discuss ways to open the Cuban market to exports of American farm products.
A potential $1.5 billion market opportunity has been shrinking under the pressure of strained relations between the Trump administration and Cuba. There are also financial restrictions imposed by an American trade embargo. U.S. Republican Congressman Rick Crawford, who was part of the delegation, said the mid-term election results could lead to an opening for the U.S., but only if the new House, with Democrats in charge, takes a bipartisan approach to easing trade restrictions.
U.S. businesses once exported hundreds of millions of dollars of soybeans, pork, chicken and other products a year to the island, but have seen their share of agriculture exports shrink to a trickle over the last few years.