U.S. Remains Cuba's Largest Supplier of Food and Agricultural Products
Pedro Alvarez, the Chairman of Empresa Comercializadora de Alimentos, Cuba's main food importing entity, said last week that the U.S. remains Cuba's largest supplier of food and agricultural products. Alvarez said that in 2007, Cuba purchased more than $600 million in agricultural products from the U.S., which is approximately the same amount purchased from the U.S. in 2006 .
Alvarez's comments came during a joint news conference last week with California Secretary of Food and Agriculture A.G. Kawamura, who led the State of California's first agricultural trade mission to Cuba from January 21 – 24, 2008.
California sold about $700,000 in licensed agricultural products to Cuba in 2007. California officials predict that the figure could be increased to $180 million.
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security oversees the export of agricultural commodities to Cuba under the authority of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA).