U.S. Potatoes to Mexico

U.S. Potatoes to Mexico

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. Among the greatest challenges potato growers have seen over the past few years was a potential ban by the Mexican government on U.S. potato imports.

But, National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says the market reopened back in May and, while details remain to be sorted out, shipments have been flowing …

QUARLES … “The opportunity Bob, all by itself, is a 10-15% increase in global, fresh exports for the U.S. potato industry, just for Mexico. A huge benefit for Mexican consumers.”

But, Quarles says, it’s a situation that we still need to keep an eye on …

QUARLES … “This didn’t get to be the longest running trade dispute in USDA history for no reason. It’s because there were some very powerful political forces who flat-out didn’t want to compete with the United States.”

But those forces, Quarles says haven’t gone away …

QUARLES … “We’re hopeful that as they see us in their marketplace and realize that we’re actually a net positive to them, that the political, those kneejerk kind of political, protectionist reactions will wane. But we’ve got to see that over time, but it requires us being in their market so they can see the practice in real time.”

Over time, Quarles hopes they’ll come around …

QUARLES … “We think, two years, five years from now, assuming the market stays open, and no political games are played, it’s going to be a really positive story.”

Allowing U.S. potatoes into Mexico ended a 25-year battle with repeated trade barriers.

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