Starting on July 7, Mexico will again allow U.S. potato growers to export their product to locations within 26 kilometers of the border. In seemingly schizophrenic fashion, Mexico, within the last two months, has both expanded trade opportunities for U.S. potato growers to ship to cities having a population of at least 100,000 people and has also entirely rescinded the importation of all U.S. potatoes.
Prior to May 19th, U.S. growers were only permitted to ship their product within 26 kilometers of the border; however, as Spotlight previously reported, the country announced it had relaxed its trade restrictions and allowed for U.S. potatoes to be shipped anywhere in the country. That was until Mexican officials received complaints from a group of local growers who cited phytosanitary concerns and consequently closed the borders entirely.
The decision to re-open the border and allow for exports within a 26 kilometer radius is considered an interim measure that will be in place until all legal challenges in Mexico are addressed. Legal challenges are expected to last nine to 10 months. Phytosanitary certificates cannot be issued prior to July 7.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has been working with Mexican officials to understand the reasons for the closure. APHIS is committed to working with SAGARPA and SENISICA on the expansion of this market.
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