This week, U.S. rice industry representatives are gathering in Havana for the annual International Trade Fair of Havana (FIHAV) in hopes of developing new trade strategies and gathering support for overturning the U.S. embargo, which would reopen the Cuba market to U.S. rice.
CEO of the Texas Rice Council, Dwight Roberts, stated that, “a large contingent of agricultural representatives from Texas is among those attending the week-long Cuban fair, including members of Alliance Texas-Cuba for Trade.”
“After sales of U.S. agricultural products to Cuba were authorized in 2000, U.S. rice sales to the island rose to $64 million annually in 2004. Since that time, U.S. rice sales to Cuba due to the current restriction forcing the use of third country banks to process payments. Easing the embargo and opening the market again would be a major benefit for Texas producers.”