Home Precision Agriculture Mexico’s Supreme Court Issues Verdict: American Potatoes Welcome

Mexico’s Supreme Court Issues Verdict: American Potatoes Welcome


Agricultural commerce between the US and Mexico is vastly necessary; every is the opposite’s most necessary commerce associate.

Regardless of quite a lot of commerce agreements, starting from NAFTA to the newer USMCA, there are nonetheless points to be ironed out. A type of, a notable sticking level, has been the problem of American potatoes in Mexico. This level was so sticky, actually, that it went all the best way to the Mexican Supreme Court.

In 1996, citing considerations about plant well being, the Mexican authorities banned imports of American potatoes—properly, principally. American potatoes can nonetheless be imported to a small slice of Mexico, so long as it’s inside 26 kilometers of the US/Mexico border. That limitation has meant that the US exports solely about $60 million value of potatoes to Mexico per 12 months; the Nationwide Potato Council estimates that, with out this restrict, that quantity would rise to greater than $200 million.

In 2014, Mexico tried to permit extra American potatoes in, however it was sued by Mexico’s model of the Nationwide Potato Council, known as CONPAPA. CONPAPA argued, in accordance with Potato Information Right now, that regulators shouldn’t have the authority to determine the legality of agricultural imports. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court dominated that the federal government does, actually, have the authority to determine such issues. 

Due to the five-to-zero unanimous vote from the Supreme Court, American potatoes ought to quickly be exported en masse to Mexico. 

CONPAPA has argued for years that American potato imports would have the potential to deliver new pests, reminiscent of golden nematode and potato virus Y. The USDA, since 1998, has maintained that these pests are already current in Mexico, thus negating this reasoning. And because of this, the Nationwide Potato Council has steered that the 26-kilometer restrict isn’t actually based mostly on concern for plant welfare however is as an alternative a de facto commerce barrier that ought to not exist. 

That mentioned, whereas Mexico is a probably giant marketplace for potatoes, the precise potatoes utilized in Mexico will not be fairly the identical as the preferred varieties grown in the US. A 2009 research steered that “alpha” potatoes, yellow-fleshed and thin-skinned, are extra in style in Mexico than the American huge, white russets—however that this might change, with extra open potato commerce between the neighboring nations.


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