US potatoes enter Mexico
The United States has begun exporting potatoes to Mexico beyond the 26-kilometer border zone that previously marked the limit of their export, the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Mexico’s national plant protection organization (SENASICA) announced Wednesday.
“The shipments come after more than 25 years of regulatory and legal obstructions by Mexico, and one year after the Mexican Supreme Court ruled unanimously that U.S. fresh potatoes were legally authorized to be imported,” the National Potato Council said.
“Today’s news wouldn’t be possible without the tireless work of Secretary Tom Vilsack, [Trade Representative] Katherine Tai, and their outstanding teams at USDA and USTR,” said NPC CEO Kam Quarles. “Both agencies have made the restoration of U.S. potato access a top U.S. trade priority. We thank them for getting us to this important step, and we will need their continued partnership to ensure that the border remains open as we seek to grow the Mexican market for potatoes.”
Mexico is the largest export market for U.S. potatoes and products valued at $394 million in 2021, NPC said. Despite the previous restriction to the 26-kilometer border region, Mexico was the second-largest market for fresh potato exports in 2021, accounting for 124,449 metric tons valued at $60 million last year. The U.S. potato industry estimates that access to the entire country for fresh U.S. potatoes will provide a market potential of $250 million per year, in five years.
Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and 80 of his colleagues last week introduced the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.
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