Some exceptions to the embargo
Yes, there is U.S. trade with Cuba despite the embargo, as the graph above shows. The vast majority of the trade is U.S. exports to Cuba, especially since 2002, mainly in the form of agricultural goods and medication. The U.S. government relaxed the embargo for humanitarian purposes in 2000, but Cuba started to take advantage of this only in November 2001, after Hurricane Michelle. If you look closely along the black horizontal line, you’ll see there is also a little trade from Cuba to the U.S. Although it’s zero in almost every month, a few months do show Cuban exports: from a low of $2,060 (July 2009) to a high of $775,000 (August 2018). And we feel we can depend on the precision of these statistics, especially because this trade is subject to official U.S. government authorization.
How this graph was created: Search for “Cuba imports,” select the “U.S. Imports of Goods by Customs Basis from Cuba” series, and click “Add to Graph.” From the “Edit Graph” panel, use the “Add Line” tab to search for “Cuba exports” and select “U.S. Exports of Goods by F.A.S. Basis to Cuba.”
Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.
View on FRED, series used in this post: