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‘The golden crop’: New report details how the U.S. potato industry bolsters the economy and job market

The National Potato Council (NPC) today revealed its latest report on the economic impact of the U.S. potato industry. “The Current and Potential Impact of Expanded Potato Exports” report assesses the current economic contribution of exports of potatoes and potato products on the U.S. economy, and analyses the role that expanded trade opportunities would have on U.S. economic activity and jobs. The analysis was prepared by economists from Michigan State University.

From July 2022 through June 2023, the U.S. exported $2.2 billion in potatoes and potato products, according to information published in the report. The total economic contribution of exports of potatoes and potato products is estimated to be $4.78 billion with an estimated impact on employment of approximately 33,846 jobs.

Currently, approximately 20 percent of all potatoes grown in the U.S. are destined to be exported, in either fresh or processed form, making trade a significant component of the $100.9 billion U.S. potato industry.

The U.S. potato sector currently faces three barriers to exports: 1) tariffs and quotas; 2) the value of the U.S. dollar; and 3) sanitary and phytosanitary and technical barriers to trade issues.

Based upon a conservative and achievable expansion in foreign market access and maturity (a 10 percent increase in exports to Canada, Japan, and South Korea; a 25 percent increase in exports to other East Asia markets, Mexico, and selected countries in the Middle East, and an additional $100 million in fresh exports to Mexico and Japan) it is estimated that total U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would increase by $1.024 billion and create an additional 5,600 domestic jobs. This expansion represents an increase of about 21 percent compared to the current impact of potato exports annually.

U.S.-grown potatoes and potato-related products deliver direct economic activity (growing, processing, and retail) and support jobs in every corner of the country, generating an estimated 714,000+ domestic jobs.

The U.S. potato supply entails a wide spectrum of activity, from agricultural production, through wholesaling and processing and distribution ending with consumer purchases of final products through retail channels or through food service providers.

Source: National Potato Council. Go here to download the full report

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