U.S. Potatoes to Mexico? Pt 2

U.S. Potatoes to Mexico? Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Tuesday’s announcement that U.S. potatoes will be allowed into Mexico beginning May 15th has left our potato industry cautiously optimistic.

Given a 25-year trade dispute, many will wait to declare victory.

National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says the announcement from Ag Secretary Vilsack was welcome news …

QUARLES … “I spoke with him a couple of weeks ago and he very clearly indicated that he wanted to see a win here. And, there were a number of USDA officials down in Mexico City last week trying to get everything in the right spots. So, this announcement today was not a surprise to us.”

But Quarles says nobody is holding their breath …

QUARLES … “We very much want to see the rest of the pieces of this puzzle get put into place before we can determine whether or not Mexico’s really serious about allowing our exports and hopefully letting us build out what we think is going to be a very valuable market both for U.S. growers and Mexican consumers.”

Would you say the potato industry is taking Missouri’s “Show Me” stand? …

QUARLES … “Yeah, yeah, I think that’s right. Yeah, or from Ronald Regan days, trust but verify. We want to believe that this is the case, but there’s a lot of reasons to question it and we need to see some actions here to follow up these positive words.”

Quarles hopes an April inspection of a U.S. facility will be the final hurdle they need to clear and that no last-minute roadblocks pop up.

Previous ReportU.S. Potatoes to Mexico? Pt 1
Next ReportDam Breaching Support Pt 1