Free Trade

Potato Passages

Free trade victory

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Mexican potatoes, previously unwelcome on our fair shores, are now permitted to enter the country legally and in large numbers.

According to a March notice of final rulemaking in the Federal Register, potatoes can now be imported to the U.S. from Mexico. Mexico has announced its intention to allow U.S. potatoes to move south as well. Just a few caveats: "The potatoes must be imported in commercial consignments, must be produced by a grower who is registered in a certification program, must be packed in registered packinghouses, must be washed, cleaned, and treated with a sprout inhibitor, and must be inspected after packing for quarantine pests. The potatoes must also be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that declares that the conditions for importation have been met. Finally, the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Mexico must provide a bilateral workplan to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that details the activities that the NPPO of Mexico will carry out to meet these requirements, subject to APHIS' approval."

The whole process sounds pretty unwieldy, and crudité coyotes caught crossing the border with a bunch of heritage taters in a secret compartment in their cars are still going to be in big trouble. But the process is easier than getting many humans of Mexican origin across the border.