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National Potato Council Releases New Report on the Economic Potential of U.S. Potato Exports

WASHINGTON – The National Potato Council (NPC) today revealed its latest report on the economic impact of the U.S. potato industry. The report assessed the economic contribution of U.S. potato and potato product exports and analyzed the role that expanded trade opportunities would have on U.S. GDP and jobs.

“The Current and Potential Impact of Expanded Potato Exports,” authored by economists at Michigan State University, found that:

  • current exports of U.S. potatoes and potato products generate around $4.78 billion in economic activity and support nearly 34,000 domestic jobs; and,
  • moderate and achievable expansions in foreign market access would generate an additional $1 billion in economic activity and support 5,600 more U.S. jobs.

The report and its highlights can be found at NationalPotatoCouncil.org/SpudNation.

“Potatoes are not only America’s favorite vegetable, they hold the key to unlocking further job growth and economic benefits through a sustained focus on international markets,” said Bob Mattive, a potato grower from Colorado and NPC’s incoming President. “Whenever growers and our allied industry partners talk to Members of Congress or any elected leader, we need to remind them that increased U.S. potato exports will help drive America’s economic prosperity.”

Access to foreign markets is a major economic engine for the U.S. potato sector, with approximately 20 percent of all U.S.-grown potatoes exported. The new report found that those exports generate around $4.78 billion in economic activity and support nearly 34,000 U.S. jobs.

Using moderate and achievable expansions in trade access to new and existing trade partners, including Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and other East Asian and Middle Eastern countries, the report found an additional $1 billion and 5,600 domestic jobs could be created by the U.S. potato industry, a 21 percent increase over current levels.

“Last year, an economic study published by Michigan State University found that the entire supply chain of the U.S. potato industry supported tremendous economic benefits and jobs for our country,” said NPC CEO Kam Quarles. “As we come together for the 2024 NPC Washington Summit, those same economists focused narrowly on U.S. potato exports and identified significant economic returns. Additionally, with access to new or expanded foreign markets, our industry could create even more economic benefits and jobs. Based on this information, this week we are taking the message to policymakers that increased foreign market access for U.S. potatoes will help fight back against a growing ag trade deficit and generate positive benefits for the economy.”

The economists analyzed the economic impact of expanded markets using variable scenarios, including a 10 percent increase in exports to Canada, Japan, and South Korea; a 25 percent increase in exports to other East Asia markets, Mexico, and selected countries in the Middle East; and an additional $100 million in U.S. fresh potato exports to Mexico and Japan.

Growers and industry partners attending the 2024 NPC Washington Summit will take this data to Capitol Hill as they advocate for enhanced export market access for the industry.

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