Fresh potato market access in Japan remains stalled

The CEO of the National Potato Council says talks between the United States and Japan on fresh potato market access remain stalled.

Kam Quarles tells Brownfield “it’s very clear this is a highly political process, not only a technical one. It’s not something the Japanese want to advance.”

Quarles says the U.S. asked Japan to complete processes and deliver a pest risk assessment by the end of 2023, but that didn’t happen and no timeline has been provided as to when that might be delivered.

The Chief Agriculture Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Doug McKalip talked about the matter at the Potato Expo this week.

“USTR is committed to using every tool at their disposal to getting, what is now a completely stalled process, moving again.”

Quarles says he’s optimistic fresh potato market access in Japan will happen, but says it will take relentless attention from the U.S. government and agriculture industry to overcome the political opposition.

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