This week, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that China has taken numerous actions to begin implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the landmark US-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement on schedule. The agreement entered into force on February 14, 2020.
Specifically for the US potato industry, the actions include signing a historic protocol that allows the importation of US fresh chipping potatoes from the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
“The US potato industry welcomes this important announcement that will allow US fresh potatoes to be exported to China for the first time,” said NPC Vice President of Trade Affairs Jared Balcom. “We’d like to thank the dedicated officials from USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the US Trade Representative’s office (USTR) for their efforts to provide US potato industry this opportunity. … We look forward to developing and expanding this vital market.”
China is currently a top 10 export market for US potatoes, primarily in processed products. With a combination of competitive tariffs and enhanced market access, China could become a top five market in the near future.
According to usda.gov, China's actions include:
- Signing a protocol that allows the importation of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes (U.S. Chipping Potatoes Protocol Announcement);
- Lifting the ban on imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products, including pet food containing poultry products (Poultry and Poultry Products Announcement);
- Lifting restrictions on imports of U.S. pet food containing ruminant material (Pet Food with Ruminant Ingredients Announcement);
- Updating lists of facilities approved for exporting animal protein, pet food, dairy, infant formula, and tallow for industry use to China;
- Updating the lists of products that can be exported to China as feed additives;
- Updating an approved list of U.S. seafood species that can be exported to China.