May 14, 2019
China to hit US frozen fries, dehy potatoes with more tariffs

As the Trump administration’s trade fight with China twists and turns, exporters of frozen and dehy potatoes are facing a hit.

On Monday, May 13, China announced it would levy more tariffs on frozen vegetables from the U.S., including potatoes. National Potato Council Vice President of Public Policy Kam Quarles told Spudman the increases include:

  • Frozen fries: An additional 5% to 15% total
  • Dehy: An additional 15% to 30% total
  • Flakes, granules and pellets: Another 15% to 40% total

China’s initial tariffs were announced in September, but they have not gone into effect yet. The Chinese are now saying they will be implemented, Quarles said.

China does not import fresh potatoes from the U.S., but it still ranks as the sixth-largest export market for U.S. potato producers, according to Potatoes USA.

To help counter the losses of the U.S. agricultural industry is facing due to the trade wars with China and other nations, Trump is pledging $15 billion in aid to farmers. It isn’t yet known if any of that will go to potato growers, Quarles said.

“We have discussed the impact of the new tariffs with USDA and have made the case that additional trade mitigation for potatoes is necessary,” he added.

Quarles said he expects the specific details of the trade mitigation package fairly soon.

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