08 April 2022
Joint statement welcomed by industry
THE Mexican market coud soon be reopened to the US for potato supply, it has been announced.
A joint announcement by US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Mexico Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Víctor Villalobos has stated that, according to an agreed workplan, the entire Mexican market will be open no later than May 15th for all US table stock and chipping potatoes.
The National Potato Council said this was a positive response and praised Secretary Vilsack and the teams at USDA and USTR for their efforts to ensure Mexico lives up to its bilateral trade obligations.
"Given the history of this 25-year trade dispute, we are waiting to declare victory until we see durable exports of both fresh processing and table stock potatoes throughout all of Mexico as required by the November 2021 signed agreement," the organisation said in a statement. "We hope the April site visit by Mexican officials will be the last hurdle we need to clear and that no last-minute roadblocks will be erected prior to Mexico finally – and permanently – reopening its border to US-grown potatoes.
Mexico is the largest export market for US potatoes and potato products, which were valued at $394 million in 2021.
Mexico is the second-largest market for fresh potato exports, despite the restriction to the 26-kilometre border region. In 2021 it accounted for 124,449 metric tons valued at $60 million. The US potato industry estimates that access to the entire country for fresh U.S. potatoes will provide a market potential of $250 million per year, in five years.
Source: National Potato Council