Washington, D.C.–Idaho Senators U.S. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-Idaho) issued the following statements after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Mexico is granting full market access for U.S. fresh potatoes, with the first shipment into Mexico coming from Idaho.
“Thanks to commitments made under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, (USMCA), U.S. fresh potatoes now have full market access in Mexico, and a shipment of Idaho potatoes was cleared to enter the country,” said Crapo. “Addressing this decades-long dispute is a significant step forward in improving and strengthening our trade relationship with Mexico. While this is a positive development, we must continue to monitor Mexico’s compliance with USMCA to ensure every aspect is fully enforced and the agreement lives up to its full potential.”
“Today’s development has been a long time in the making. I’m glad to see this initial shipment of fresh Idaho potatoes granted access to Mexico, but this needs to be the first step of many,” said Risch. “Potato growers in Idaho and across the country were promised meaningful market access more than 15 years ago, and Mexico has a responsibility to make good on its pledge to our farmers.”
While Mexico is the largest market for U.S. potatoes, until now, imports of fresh U.S. potatoes have been limited to a roughly 16 mile area along the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement late last year to expand market access for U.S. potatoes, something that the United States has actively sought for more than 15 years. The National Potato Council (NPC) estimates full market potential for fresh table potatoes could reach $250 million a year.