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US: $1.8 billion potato export industry hampered by trade barriers, says industry body

The National Potato Council (NPC) in the US recently issued a report titled “2019 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers”. The report came in response to a request from the Office of the Trade Representative.

In the report, the NPC says that frozen fries are the industry’s primary export product, although fresh, seed and dehydrated potatoes are also exported in increasing numbers. Improved access to international markets for frozen fries is of critical importance. Additionally, improved market access is being sought for fresh and seed potatoes and other processed potato products.

Exports of U.S. frozen fries to foreign markets such as Japan, Korea, China, and Mexico have increased in recent years due in part to our industry’s promotional efforts in these countries. Exports account for 18% of total U.S. potato production and over 20% of U.S. frozen potato production. U.S. exports of all potato products were valued at approximately $1.8 billion from July 2017 to June 2018. Unfortunately, access to foreign markets continues to be restricted by a range of trade barriers.

In its report, the NPC outlines the significant trade barriers faced by U.S. potato exports in specified markets, focusing especially on tariffs and quotas, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and technical barriers to trade. A separate report is provided for each country in which trade barriers exist: Burma (Myanmar), Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Read the full NPC report