National Potato Council Applauds House Passage of USMCA Trade Agreement
Pact bolsters trade ties with two top export markets for U.S. potatoes
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 19, 2019 – The National Potato Council (NPC) today lauded U.S. House passage of legislation ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“As two of our top trading partners, Canada and Mexico currently represent more than $550 million in annual sales of U.S. potatoes. By eliminating retaliatory tariffs, ratification of USMCA could lead to additional growth opportunities for U.S. potato growers and our industry partners,” Jared Balcom, Chairman of NPC’s Trade Affairs Committee and a farmer from Pasco, Wash.
Long supported by NPC and a coalition of U.S. farm, ranch, and agriculture groups, USMCA builds on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Under NAFTA, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled over the last 25 years. Canada is the second largest export market for U.S. potatoes with over $300 million in sales annually. Mexico is the third largest export market for U.S. potatoes comprising over $250 million in annual sales.
Twenty percent of all U.S.-grown potatoes must find buyers in foreign markets. USMCA’s ratification will stabilize the vital export markets of Canada and Mexico by both eliminating the threat of retaliatory tariffs and precluding the loss of tariff benefits previously provided by NAFTA. According to the United States International Trade Commission, the USMCA would increase U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion and employment by 176,000 jobs.
“The ratification of the USMCA will build on the success of NAFTA, leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and a stronger U.S. potato industry,” said Kam Quarles, NPC CEO. “We urge our partners in Mexico and Canada to ratify the pact so we can quickly implement this mutually beneficial win for all of our citizens.”
The National Potato Council represents the interests of U.S. potato growers on federal legislative, regulatory, environmental and trade issues. The value of U.S. potato production is over $3.7 billion annually and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly.