National Potato Council Reacts to USMCA Pt 3

National Potato Council Reacts to USMCA Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. President Trump has signed the USMCA, ratifying the update trade agreement that replaces NAFTA. Last Wednesday’s event was welcome news for many ag producers eager for tariff relief and to rebuilding trade relationships with our neighbors.

Kam Quarles, CEO at the National Potato Council, says removing tariffs is huge, but there is much more in the details …

QUARLES … “And, then as we look forward to the trading relationship, the big one for us is getting the long-awaited access to Mexico for fresh potatoes. That’s been tied up for many, many years.”

Quarles says that fresh potato access is incredible …

QUARLES … “If we can get that right, in addition to the $300-million that’s currently going to Mexico, we’re looking at an additional, potentially, 25% on top of that every single year in U.S. potato exports. That would just be a huge market, so we’re going to focus pretty intensely on that looking forward.”

Quarles says the opportunities are really big “IF” we can take advantage of them …

QUARLES … “Obviously, the devil’s in the details. You can’t just have a market access agreement. You’ve got to have a durable market access agreement that allows you to efficiently export to those countries and allows their buyers to rely on this new supply of U.S. fresh potatoes that hopefully will be coming to them.”

Canada still needs to ratify, but Quarles expects that to happen soon followed by implementation of the USMCA.

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