Sep 18, 2023Meetings to focus on full access to Japanese market for US fresh potatoes
Ongoing efforts to open the Japanese market to all U.S. fresh potatoes continue Sept. 25-29 with representatives from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service conducting bilateral plant health meetings.
National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles and Bryant Christie Inc.’s Matt Lantz will serve as technical experts during the meetings in Japan.
The U.S. seeks access for all fresh potatoes, including table stock potatoes, to Japan, the second-largest market for U.S. potatoes. If fully opened, the value of the Japanese market for U.S. exports is estimated at $150 million to $200 million annually.
In May, a bipartisan letter signed by 35 members of Congress was sent to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack urging his assistance in opening the Japanese market for U.S. fresh potatoes.
Noting that table stock access to Japan was first requested almost 30 years ago, the Members argued that there is no valid phytosanitary justification for the market to remain closed or for Japan’s government’s refusal to negotiate on opening the market.
“Japan continues to delay substantive negotiations on table stock access, including with respect to our most recent request for Japan to provide a Pest Risk Assessment,” the members wrote.