The Mexican Supreme Court ruled by a unanimous vote of five to zero in favor of overturning a 2017 lower court decision that blocked the importation of U.S. fresh potatoes. The ruling, cheered by the National Potato Council and Potatoes USA, marks the end of a decade-long legal process that began when Mexico’s potato industry sued its government to prevent competition from imports.
National Potato Council vice president of trade affairs, Jared Balcom, says, “This ruling is consistent with Mexico’s obligations under the USMCA and the WTO.” Balcom adds the ruling represents a major step forward for the industry. Since it first allowed for the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes in 2003, Mexico has restricted those potatoes to a 26 kilometer-area along the U.S.-Mexico border. That restriction has violated Mexico’s obligations under numerous trade agreements. In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “This decision is important for American agriculture and for positive bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico.”