NPC: Millions in Fry Exports Could be Lost to Mexico

Published online: Mar 22, 2019 Articles
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Kam Quarles, vice president of public policy at the National Potato Council (NPC), provides an update on the latest U.S. trade issues related to potatoes.

Among other issues discussed, Quarles touches on the matter of Mexico’s retaliation against recent U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. He says that Mexico has eliminated the zero-percent import tariffs on fries under the previous NAFTA agreement. Now, U.S. fries enter Mexico with a 20 percent duty. U.S. competitors saw this opening and are taking full advantage, according to Quarles.

Canadian exports to Mexico have risen 46 percent since Mexico began retaliating, while EU exports have risen by over 160 percent.

EU and Canadian competitors took over a third of the previous volume of fries exported by the U.S. to Mexico. Quarles says it is estimated that over $80 million in U.S. fry exports will be lost if these retaliatory actions were to continue.