Fresh potatoes exports to Mexico: a US strategic market

The United States exported more than $88 million worth of fresh potatoes to Mexico, its second-largest export market, in 2022, according to Commerce Department data.

Since 2003, the United States has sought access for fresh potatoes to all of Mexico, beyond a 26-kilometer zone along the U.S.-Mexico border outside of which imports were not allowed.

In April 2021, Mexico’s Supreme Court upheld the authority of Mexico’s regulatory agency to expand access for fresh U.S. potatoes.

Then, in 2021, Mexico completed the necessary regulatory steps for U.S. fresh potato access to cities with populations greater than 100,000.

In May 2022, the United States began shipping fresh potatoes to Mexico beyond the 26-kilometer zone.

Fresh potatoes

The United States is monitoring the situation to ensure that there is transparent and predictable access for U.S. exporters.

The National Potato Council (NPC) represents the interests of all U.S. commercial potato growers.

The Council assists its growers in resolving market access issues for fresh and processed potatoes in export markets around the world.

In this endeavor, the Council coordinates its trade policy objectives with the American Potato Trade Alliance (APTA), which is a trade group representing potato processors, quick service restaurants and growers.

Overall, 20% of potatoes grown in the United States must find valuable foreign markets for export.

Of those exports, frozen French fries (HS 2004.10) are the industry’s primary product, although fresh (HS 0701.90), seed (HS 0701.10), and dehydrated (HS 1105.20, HS 2005.20) potatoes are also increasingly exported.

Improving access to international markets for frozen French fries, as well as fresh, seed and other processed potato products, is critical to improving the health of the U.S. farm-gate potato industry.

Exports of U.S. frozen French fries to foreign markets such as Japan, Korea, China and Mexico have increased in recent years, due in part to our industry’s promotional efforts in these countries supported by the Department of Agriculture‘s export promotion programs.


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