U.S. potato volumes have grown 56 per cent in the last decade on the back of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, and expectations are high the Trans-Pacific Partnership will spark further growth for the sector.
In a release, the National Potato Council urged the U.S. Congress to complete its review of the TPP and approve the agreement. The NPC said congressional approval would provide significant opportunities to expand exports, which reached US$1.7 billion last year.
Additionally, the council is enthusiastic about the possibility of Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand potentially joining the agreement.
“The U.S. potato industry can compete with worldwide growers, processors and distributors if the playing field is level,” said NPC vice-president for trade, Cully Easterday.
“The TPP tariff reductions in our key markets including Japan and Vietnam allow us to go head-to-head with our foreign competitors and successfully win the business.”
The NPC highlighted “critically important provisions” in the TPP to improve the process for resolving phytosanitary issues, based on “science in a timely manner”.
“The TPP agreement takes an important step in addressing the very difficult issue of resolving plant health disputes by focusing on scientific analysis and creating a more certain dispute resolution process,” Easterday said. For more information, visit the Fresh Fruit Portal.