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Dairy Facts 2016

White House Sets New Direction in Policy Toward Cuba

Jun 21, 2017

President Donald Trump last week announced a shift in policy toward Cuba that will make travel to the island nation more difficult, but could open the market for U.S. dairy products to Cuba. The shift, announced in a presidential memorandum, directs the Treasury and Commerce departments to implement regulatory changes that further enhance travel restrictions and reaffirm the United States’ statutory embargo towards Cuba. However, the memorandum also mandates the relevant agencies “support the sale of agricultural commodities,” including dairy, to Cuba. The process will begin within 30 days, and IDFA will work to ensure that dairy products have access to the Cuban market.

IDFA has long advocated for the full removal of trade restrictions to Cuba, which would grow jobs and support American agriculture and manufacturing. Last week, IDFA, as a member of the U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba, expressed its support for the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act, which would ease financing restrictions that U.S. companies face in Cuba.

Market for Dairy

The U.S. International Trade Commission recently outlined an optimistic future for U.S. dairy companies looking to establish trade relationships in Cuba. In “Overview of Cuban Imports of Goods and Services and Effects of U.S. Restrictions,” the commission estimated that U.S. exporters could capture market share of 30 percent for total dairy products, with dominance in milk powder and whey estimated at 50 percent to 75 percent, and butter and cheese estimated at 40 percent to 60 percent over the next ten years, if trends continue.

To learn more about the emerging dairy export market to Cuba, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at

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