Cuba trade: Past, present and possible future

“Although challenges persist, recent changes in U.S. policy open the possibility of expanding U.S.-Cuban trade for several commodities,” says Bobby Coats, professor of economics and agribusiness at the University of Arkansas and moderator for the webinar series. “Our presenters will be taking an in-depth look at the past, present and possible future of the topic.”

Cuba was once a leading market for U.S. exports of agricultural commodities, including rice, lard, pork and wheat flour. That went away when Fidel Castro came to power, and the U.S. imposed an embargo on trade with Cuba.

Now that President Obama has announced a new direction for U.S. policy on trade with Cuba, what’s the outlook for increasing shipments of those and other agricultural commodities from the U.S. to Cuba’s ports?

That will be the subject of the next in the University of Arkansas’ Food and Agribusiness Webinar Series, “U.S.-Cuba Agricultural Trade: Past, Present and Possible Future.” Presenters for the webinar will be Nathan Childs and Stephen Zahniser, agricultural economists with USDA’s Economic Research Service.

To register for the webinar, which will begin at 2 p.m., Wednesday, (Oct. 28), attendees should visit To register for the webinar, would-be attendees should go to: https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/47e0417f58a498a566858a512be5123a

“Although challenges persist, recent changes in U.S. policy open the possibility of expanding U.S.-Cuban trade for several commodities,” says Bobby Coats, professor of economics and agribusiness at the University of Arkansas and moderator for the webinar series. “Our presenters will be taking an in-depth look at the past, present and possible future of the topic.”

Dr. Zahniser’s current research focuses on border processes and procedures affecting U.S.-Mexico agricultural trade, the linkages between agricultural trade and employment in the U.S. economy, and the outlook for the integrated U.S.-Mexico market for sugar and other sweeteners.

He received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Master’s degrees in Latin American studies and public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in political science from Northwestern University.

Dr. Childs is a senior economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service. He is responsible for ERS’s domestic and global rice outlook program, routinely working with a multi-agency committee to develop monthly supply and use estimates. He writes a monthly Rice Outlook Report, updates Yearbook Tables, makes numerous outlook presentations, and has participated in several internationally-focused research projects. He has a PH.D. in Applied Economics from Clemson University, Masters in Security Studies from Georgetown, and a B.S. in Economics from Clemson University. Nathan was in the South Carolina Army National Guard in the 1980s.

To read more about the University of Arkansas Webinar Series, visit Food and Agribusiness Webinar Homepage.

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