May 15, 2019
Washington potato export market ‘red hot’ in spite of China tariffs

The head of the Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC) said months ago that if there was a year to have tariffs put on your product, this might be it.

Chris Voigt

Chris Voigt, the WSPC’s executive director, told Seattle-based TV station Q13 Fox on May 13 that the international market for potatoes is “red hot,” adding that anything the state has lost in the way of sales to China is being made up in other markets. Overall potato production worldwide was down in 2018. 

China announced additional tariffs on numerous U.S.-exported products on May 13. The list included some agricultural goods, including higher tariffs on frozen fries and dehydrated potatoes. Washington exports more potatoes than any other U.S. state. Although China does not import fresh potatoes from the U.S., it still ranks sixth among importers of U.S. potato products.

Another of Washington’s major crops — apples — is not included in China’s latest round of tariffs, the Washington Apple Commission’s Todd Fryhover told Q13 Fox. The state’s year-to-date apple shipments are down 32%, however, showing the Washington apple industry is feeling effects of the Trump administration’s ongoing trade strife with numerous nations.

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