Letter to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President of the United States - Bipartisan, Bicameral Leaders Promote U.S. Potato Industry in Ongoing China Trade Discussions
Dear Mr. President:
As you and the members of your administration work with the People's Republic of China to resolve trade disputes, we request your attention to an agriculture trade issue that has gone unresolved for nearly 20 years. Notwithstanding the diligent efforts of the United States Trade Representative and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), China has not opened their market to fresh potatoes from the United States and has left U.S. potato growers without a clear path forward on how to resolve concerns that are standing in the way of opening this important market.
The U.S. potato industry has a $3.7 billion farm gate value, and that success relies on finding an international market for one out of five potatoes produced. Since 2000, opening access to China for U.S. fresh potatoes has been a priority for U.S. potato growers and included on every bilateral agenda. In addition, two delegations of experts from China traveled to the United States for thorough in-person meetings and on the ground evaluations of fresh potato farming, processing and shipping practices. Following these discussions and visits, the U.S. potato industry has worked diligently to provide science-based research and answer every question posed regarding the safety of fresh potatoes grown in the United States. These efforts have resulted in no meaningful commitments from China to work with the U.S. potato industry to resolve concerns.
If access to China's fresh potato market is granted to the United States, it is estimated that China could become a top five market for U.S. potato exports. This would result in new jobs in communities throughout the country and ensure the U.S. potato industry remains competitive in the international marketplace. For this reason, we ask that the USTR ensures that new market opportunities for US potatoes are included in any trade negotiations with China.
Thank you for your consideration.