With this year’s newly enacted U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement, Washington potato producers are excited about the possibilities for fair trade. We’re already a major supplier of french fries and other frozen potatoes to Korean consumers, and with no tariffs, now is the time for us to press our opportunity for trade.
Wherever you go in South Korea, you’re likely to run into Washington french fries. Koreans love them, and our exports are growing by leaps and bounds. From $54 million in US exports last year, eliminating Korean processed potato tariffs and tariff rate quotas (TRQs) through the US-South Korea free trade agreement could see the market for US processed potatoes grow to over $75 million. That success will translate into strengthening our Washington economy and providing jobs from the farm to fork.
As the new food frontier, India offers promise for Washington potato growers. Unfortunately, a confusing matrix of import tariffs and arbitrary duties on US frozen french fries prohibits trade opportunities. We’re hopeful that discussions with the Indian government can clarify how to navigate the processes needed to reach the Indian consumer. If we’re ever going to crack the India market in a big way, we need transparency and a level playing field.