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Potato industry urges Trump to add potatoes to NAFTA renegotiations

In a letter to President Donald Trump, John Keeling, the National Potato Council's (NPC) CEO, said the group “is strongly supportive of improving the conditions for trade that we confront with Canada and Mexico," as NAFTA negotiations may take place. 

Keeling also noted that the two countries represent important markets for U.S. producers. Canada is the second-largest export market with annual sales of $315 million—17.8 percent of total U.S. exports. Mexico comes in third with annual sales of $253 million, 14.3 percent of annual exports.

“The potato industry believes that potato exports to Mexico could grow to $500 million annually with full unrestricted access for all U.S. fresh and processed potatoes,” Keeling said, noting that sales to Canada would also rise, but didn’t specify by how much.

The NPC did, however, caution against an outright withdrawal from the deal, saying tariffs, which are currently non-existent on potatoes, would revert to between 50 and 70 percent, the standard level for “most favored nation” trading partners.

Publication date: 5/12/2017


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