Potato Export Challenges Pt 2

Potato Export Challenges Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. Discovering more or expanding existing export markets has been keeping many in the U.S. potato industry busy in recent years.

Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, says the three big challenges are tariffs, exchange rates, and maybe the biggest, sanitary and phytosanitary issues …

QUARLES … “In general, it is entirely reasonable at a 30-thousand-foot level for countries, certainly the U.S. does this, in having a set of robust protections for their domestic industry, from threats that may not exist in that country presently.”

Which is fine, Quarles says but there are limits …

QUARLES … “You’re not talking about reasonable mitigation. You’re talking about countries utilizing pest and disease effectively excuses as reasons not to negotiate, not to open their markets, not to consider the possibility of foreign imports coming in.”

While nothing new, Quarles asks, is it reasonable? …

QUARLES … “Clearly, we’ve seen that with markets in the past. We’re seeing them in present negotiations. It’s when a very reasonable standard tips over into a weapon that’s used essentially to protect a market that things get to be a problem.”

Bottom line, Quarles says these are stonewalling techniques, and we recognize that, so WE’RE NOT giving up.

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