This past Sunday, August 25, it was announced that an agreement has been struck on agricultural trade between the U.S. and Japan. The announcement was made at the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France.
The National Potato Council (NPC) in the US is strongly supporting the agreement.
“This announcement is welcome news for our industry. It allows U.S. potato exporters to recapture vital momentum in Japan and level the playing field against foreign competitors,” said Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council.
“Creating a new agreement with Japan that preserves benefits previously negotiated under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been a key objective of the National Potato Council. We believe today’s announcement indicates that the White House, the Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) share that goal and are committed to making it a reality,” said Jared Balcom, Chairman of NPC’s Trade Affairs Committee and a farmer from Pasco, Washington.
Japan is the U.S. potato industry’s largest export market with exports totaling over $350 million in the past year. Given a competitive tariff regime and reasonable market access agreements, it is believed that this market can grow by another $150 million annually (42%) in the very near future.
“We sincerely appreciate the dedicated work of Ambassador Lighthizer, Secretary Perdue and the dedicated agricultural professionals supporting them at USTR, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS),” said Quarles.
The value of U.S. potato production is over $3.7 billion annually and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly.
Source: National Potato Council