Aug 3, 2021
National Potato Council takes stance added farm taxes

During the National Potato Council’s (NPC) Board of Directors meeting, RJ Andrus, V.P. of Legislative Affairs, reported that the committee had recommended a motion regarding tax increases.

RJ Andrus of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Idahoan Foods, speaks during the 2019 National Potato Council summer meetings in Wisconsin.

The NPC Board of Directors unanimously agreed to the motion: “The NPC Legislative Affairs Committee moves that the NPC board of directors oppose the undermining or elimination of any tax benefits for family farms to pay for an infrastructure or reconciliation spending bill.”

During the Committee’s deliberations earlier in the day, V.P. Andrus discussed the concerns that tax “reforms” on agriculture could result in harming family farms as Congress deliberates on an infrastructure or reconciliation bill. “Some of the investments in seaports, roads, rails and water systems are important for the country. However, they should not be paid for by undermining American family farms that are struggling to recover from this crisis,” said Andrus.

RELATED: Recapping the NPC’s summer meetings

Update from NPC President Dominic LaJoie

Crapo receives assurance from Mexican president on potatoes

On July 27, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) told AgriPulse that “Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Economy Secretary Tatiana Clouthier have both assured him personally that the country is moving forward on regulations that will open up all of Mexico to imports of U.S. potatoes.”

These comments followed a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee centered on a review the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) one year after its entry into force. During that hearing Sen. Crapo specifically called out the ongoing regulatory challenges with Mexico and its delay in issuing regulations to reinstate access to U.S. fresh potatoes. “The potato industry has also faced its share of challenges, with the Mexican Supreme Court only recently ruling that potato growers can sell fresh potatoes into all of Mexico, consistent with its obligations under the USMCA,” said Sen. Crapo. “However, I will not consider the matter finished until Idaho’s farmers are able to sell high-quality potatoes to every family in Mexico.”

Committee Members and witnesses stressed the need for USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai to more strictly enforce the agreement. In particular, Members pointed out barriers that have been created to prevent the trade of U.S. biotech, dairy, and other ag products. The hearing preceded a highly anticipated meeting expected in August between USDA Secretary Vilsack and Mexican Agriculture Secretary Villalobos, which is to include discussions around full access for U.S. fresh potatoes.

Potato research included in appropriations bill\

This week, the House passed nine of the 12 annual appropriations bills, including the FY22 Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA appropriations bill. That measure contains essential funding for the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture potato breeding research program, as well as blocking restrictions on potatoes’ participation in the school breakfast program and other industry-supported measures. Attention now moves to the Senate, which has yet to take up any appropriations bills for the new fiscal year.

Potato Expo seeks presentation ideas

Potato Talks is a cultivator of ideas and inspiration. Throughout the show, the stage is the center of activity featuring engaging discussions, non-stop discussions, lively talks and entertainment — all centered around potatoes and potato production.

We are seeking proposals that showcase new advancements in production agriculture, uncover on-farm solutions, focus on current trends, or ignite inspirations. All sessions will be 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes of one-on-one questions and answers. Sessions can be a single speaker or panel discussion.

Proposals must be submitted by Sept. 10, 2021 via this Google Form submission. For more information, email [email protected] 






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