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Trade report: Potatoes and Mexico

In this episode of Idaho Ag Today, Dr David Sparks – the voice of the Idaho Agribusiness community – is having a chat with chat with international trade expert Bill Bryant, who has an interesting perspective on Mexico and Idaho potatoes.

Says Bill: “Everyone said that, you know what? We’ve got this biotechnology language and the Trans-Pacific Partnership that we did spend years negotiating. And that, by the way, since Canada and Mexico are already part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, they’ve already agreed to it. We agreed to it when we negotiated the TPP. Let’s just take that TPP language and stick it in NAFTA and call it USCAP. And essentially that’s what we did. So we took a lot of the language on certain chapters from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and put it into the new NAFTA. It’s much updated. That’s good. But I do think that we should begin thinking about how we really move the NAFTA agreement and community forward over the next eight years.

“And that means looking at closer cooperation on standards. It means looking at how we actually deal with certain border issues for the specialty crops on quarantine and find a century to measures. How do we ensure that we’re not using those to block trade? That’s a real issue right now with the potato industry and Mexico are supposed to open up its markets to potatoes, mashed potatoes, and they’ve only opened it up within a few miles of the border.

“They haven’t complied with the agreement that was negotiated several years ago. It’s being arbitrated right now. But we need to deepen the relationship so that countries do not play games with these technical standards. A lot of Idaho potato farmers would agree with that.”

Listen to the audio version below, or on the Idaho Ag Today website here. Other program reports can be accessed here.

Source: Idaho Ag Today

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