Potato Exports to Mexico & Japan Pt 2

Potato Exports to Mexico & Japan Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. The longtime efforts to get U.S. potatoes greater access into Mexico are making ground in the past couple of years, but gaining access to Japan is another story.

Matt Lantz, Vice President of Global Access at Bryant Christie, says it’s not been easy…

LANTZ … “I think it is challenging but we like a challenge, especially when we think the challenge is not legitimate.”

But this challenge, Lantz says could take a while …

LANTZ … “There are times when you have real technical issues you have to overcome. This is not. This is just protectionism, and we need to challenge it. And so we’re doing that now and we look forward to continuing to do that.”

So, what is the Japanese government’s problem with U.S. potatoes? …

LANTZ … “You know, whenever you have a protected industry, they don’t want competition. And I think the government is trying to protect their farmers, their small farmers and are concerned that if they allow domestic potatoes in, those farmers would be hurt and they’re trying to do everything they can to protect them.”

But Lantz says they Japanese are listening …

LANTZ … “Well, they are at this point, yeah, which is good. But they’re doing this reluctantly. And, you know what, Mexico did it reluctantly, but we got through it so I’m confident we’ll get through it with Japan too.”

Lantz says Mexico deserves a lot of credit for working with

us, but Japan has some ground to make up.

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