A study from the US International Trade Commission (USITC) says US-manufactured goods, including leather products, would benefit from a lifting of trade restrictions with Cuba.
The commission was asked by the US Senate’s finance committee to examine the impact of the current trade relations and any future normalisation between the two countries.
The study estimated that leather product trade and sales (including footwear, handbags and luggage) would increase to at least US$900,000 if the US lifted its embargo. If Cuba lifted its trade barrier, leather product imports could potentially reach US$1.1 million.
On the whole, USITC suggested that total US manufactured exports could jump from US$225 million to US$1.6 billion should both the US and Cuba lift trade barriers.
However, in the case of consumer goods and accessories such as leathergoods who would the buyers actually be in Cuba? Most probably US tourists with hard currency. The local population has a long wat to go before many could afford to buy a Coach handbag, for example.