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United States and Canada Announce an Arrangement concerning trade in potatoes

November 01, 2007



Washington, DC – Today,
U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced the conclusion of an
arrangement to facilitate bilateral trade in potatoes between the
United States and

“Based on this year’s first 8 months, U.S. goods trade with Canada could
rise by $17 billion to a level of $550 billion in 2007.  Such trade
expansion supports the creation of more productive, better paying jobs in both
countries.  This arrangement will facilitate more efficient trade in
potatoes between our countries,” said Ambassador Schwab.  “I would like to
thank Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner and his staff at the
Agricultural Marketing Service for their hard work and dedication in the
successful negotiation of this arrangement.”

is the United
States largest export market for agriculture,
including potatoes.  In 2006, the United
States exported $92.8 million in potatoes to
Canada, representing 68.73
percent of all U.S. potato exports.  Since
2004, U.S. potato exports to
Canada have increased by 38.13

The United
States and Canada will begin implementation of this
arrangement on November 1, 2007, in order for U.S. producers
to benefit during this year’s growing season.


The Technical Arrangement Concerning Trade in Potatoes
facilitates trade between the United
States and Canada by providing U.S. potato
producers with predictable access to Canadian Ministerial exemptions to import
potatoes.  Ministerial exemptions for potatoes are generally granted by the
Government of Canada only when there is a proven shortage of potatoes in
Canada.  The Arrangement, when
fully implemented in Year 3, will allow a 60-day forward contract between
U.S. growers and Canadian processors
to serve as sufficient evidence of a shortage in Canadian potatoes.  In
addition to addressing U.S. concerns about Canada’s procedures for granting
Ministerial exemptions for potatoes, the Arrangement will phase in quality
inspections for potatoes at destination and will phase out spot-check
inspections along the northeastern Canadian border crossing.  The
United States will initiate a
rulemaking to allow some Canadian specialty potatoes that do not currently meet
current US quality standards
for size to enter the U.S. market.  This Arrangement
protects the right of each Party to establish requirements and to conduct
inspections at the border for health and safety reasons and does not affect the
rights or obligations of either country under NAFTA and WTO

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