Senators Urge More Access For U.S. Potatoes to Mexico

U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Jim Risch (R-ID) want the federal government to be more aggressive in opening the market for U.S. potatoes in Mexico.  They joined seven other senators Thursday in urging federal trade and agriculture agencies to push Mexico on the issue.   

Mexico currently limits imports of fresh U.S. potatoes within 13-miles of the border.  Efforts have been underway since 2003 to do away with that restriction. The Mexican government, though, has resisted.  It cites pest concerns.   

Lindsay Northern is a spokesman for Senator Crapo.  He says there’s little scientific basis for that claim.  "Independent review folks have looked at this and they say there’s really very little concern over pests."

Nearly $30 million worth of fresh U.S. potatoes are exported to Mexico every year.  Mexico is Idaho’s second largest market for ag exports. 

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio