How US manufacturing plans to help Cuban agriculture

Global Business

Cuba has agreed to allow a U.S. company to assemble low cost tractors on the island. If the deal is approved by Washington, it would become the first American manufacturing company to operate in Cuba in more than half a century.

The tractor was on display at this week’s Havana International Trade Fair. It’s cheap to build and simple to maintain.

Many of Cuba’s farmers still rely on oxen to plow their fields. Those with access to tractors mainly rely on old Soviet models in constant need of repair.

U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized the sale of agricultural equipment to Cuba’s private farmers and co-operatives.

The Cuban authorities have approved a plan to assemble the machines at the new tax free Special Development Zone around the port of Mariel, but when it comes to food imports, it’s the Cubans who are holding back.

CCTV’s Michael Voss reports.

U.S. manufacturing plans to hit Cuba and help agriculture

U.S. manufacturing plans to hit Cuba and help agriculture

More details:

  • Washington has allowed US food companies to sell produce to Cuba for more than a decade but now that the two countries have restored diplomatic relations, Cuba is buying less than before.
  • There are 25 American companies and trade organizations represented at this year’s Havana International Trade Fair, the first since Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations.
  • Agricultural sales so far this year total around 125 million dollars, according to the US Trade and Economic Council. That compares to almost 300 million dollars in sales in 2014 and more than 700 million at its peak in 2008.