Chipping Potatoes to China Pt 2

Chipping Potatoes to China Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. The latest details of the Phase-One trade deal with China is fantastic news for Northwest potato growers. Starting immediately, China is allowing the import of fresh U.S. potatoes used for chips.

Matt Lantz, Vice President of Global Access at Bryant Christie, says there are still details to be ironed out, but nothing major …

LANTZ … “The fine points that we were to work on had mostly to do with how to handle certain pests that we have in the United States and they don’t have in China. And, we have successfully done that.”

As to the question, does this go into immediate effect, Lantz says …

LANTZ … “Yes, it should get going right away, assuming we can meet the standards that are in the protocol, yes, it should get going right away. In fact, I just got an email from USDA saying they want a shippers list from the three states so we can formally do that and send that to them and we’ll go from there.”

Lantz says this news actually sets the U.S. apart …

LANTZ … “You know, this is really an historic opportunity for the U.S. potato industry. No other country in the world can export fresh potatoes to China.”

Finally, Lantz says this comes after 20-years of work …

LANTZ … “It’s something that, you know, we have a lot of people who have spent a lot of time working on this. I want to thank the folks at USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office who really bird-dogged this. I mean, there were multiple overnight phone calls in the last three weeks to get this done. So, this is a real victory and we’re very fortunate to be where we are at this moment.”

Lantz says we have to walk before we can run, but he’s confident we’ll be able to export to China and grow that market.

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