China signed a protocol allowing the import of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes from the Pacific Northwest. Bryant Christie Vice President of Global Access Matt Lantz says any exported potato is good for the potato industry. “Any opportunity for us to ship our potatoes to another market gives value to all U.S. potato growers. There are more opportunities for folks not near the coast to sell to other entities and corporations,” says Lantz. “This thing has been around for so long and we started with the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to eventually allow other states to export as well.” Now that the protocol is signed, Lantz says the potato industry will need to start shipping. “With any of these agreements, we need to make sure the agreement works commercially and then, we’ll start expanding that. The other part of phase one is hoping to eliminate tariffs on potato imports. That would be on fries and dehydrated potatoes. There is a way to do that and we are exploring the option.”
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