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Crapo, Colleagues Call on Biden to Help Finally Open Japanese Market to $100B U.S. Potato Industry

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) joined nine Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden requesting he capitalize on Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to the U.S. Capitol and ask the Prime Minister to open the Japanese markets to U.S fresh potatoes.

?“We believe the Prime Minister of Japan’s visit to the United States poses an opportunity to address this longstanding issue and make progress in finally allowing U.S. grown fresh potatoes to be exported to Japan,” the Senators wrote. “… There is no valid phytosanitary justification [(concern regarding plant health)] for these delays, as the U.S. potato industry has a strong history of exporting fresh potatoes to many markets, including South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.  We strongly urge you to raise this issue with Prime Minister Kishida during his visit to the United States.”

?The U.S. potato industry is worth more than $100 billion.  Around 20 percent of U.S.-grown potatoes are exported, contributing nearly $4.8 billion to the domestic economy and supporting nearly 34,000 jobs.  Industry leaders estimate that opening the Japanese market would result in an additional $150 million per year in exports.

?Crapo is joined in signing the letter by Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), Patty Murray (D-Washington), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Angus King (I-Maine) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado).

?The full text of the letter is here.