U.S. Agricultural Trade with Cuba: Current Limitations and Future Prospects [September 21, 2016] [open pdf - 1022KB]
"After more than half a century during which trade relations between the United States and Cuba have evolved from a tight economic embargo to a narrow window of trade in U.S. agricultural and medical products, the diplomatic initiative that President Obama announced in December 2014 to restore more normal relations with Cuba has raised the possibility that bilateral relations could move toward an expansion in commercial opportunities. Many U.S. agricultural and food industry interests believe the Cuban market could offer meaningful export expansion potential for their products--but only if a number of restrictions under the U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba were to be removed. Among the measures most often cited as inhibiting exports of U.S. products, while simultaneously benefiting foreign competitors, are a prohibition on the provision of private financing and credit on sales to Cuba; denial of access to U.S. government credit guarantees and export promotion programs; the ban on general tourism to Cuba; and the general prohibition on U.S. imports of Cuban goods. [...] A concern voiced by some in agriculture is that opening the U.S. market to Cuba could pave the way for a new influx of tropical fruit and vegetable products that would compete directly with winter-season production in Florida, particularly if foreign investors perceive the opportunity to create an export platform for the U.S. market in Cuba. Among the concerns raised is that Cuban production is often subsidized by the government; also, that allowing Cuban produce into the U.S. market could become a conduit for introducing new pests and plant diseases."
CRS Report for Congress, R44119