US: Potatoes, politics kick off conference

A year after predicting how the new Trump Administration might affect agriculture, National Potato Council Executive Vice President John Keeling was back to give an update on politics and agriculture during the first day of the 2018 Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference and Trade Fair on Tuesday in Monte Vista. Keeling said he had anticipated that President Donald Trump might act differently once he was in office, but he said on Tuesday, “I haven’t seen anything different. He is who he is.” The subject of trade is “very confusing and uncertain,” Keeling said. Talks are ongoing to renegotiate NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), Keeling said, but the atmosphere around the re-negotiations is “difficult or confusing at best”. Keeling also talked about the progress of expanding potato exports in Mexico. He said in the last 10 days he met with three undersecretaries with USDA who are continuing to push Mexico to take the steps they need to open the market back up again. More