Commissioned by the National Potato Council, “The Current and Potential Impact of Expanded Potato Exports” assesses the current economic contribution of exports of potatoes and potato products on the U.S. economy, and analyses the role that expanded trade opportunities would have on U.S. economic activity and jobs. The analysis was prepared by economists from Michigan State University and published in February 2024.
From July 2022 through June 2023, the U.S. exported $2.2 billion in potatoes and potato products. The total economic contribution of exports of potatoes and potato products is estimated to be $4.78 billion with an estimated impact on employment of approximately 33,846 jobs.
Currently, approximately 20 percent of all potatoes grown in the U.S. are destined to be exported, in either fresh or processed form, making trade a significant component of the $100.9 billion U.S. potato industry.
Potato Exports by Type and Country
The U.S. potato sector currently faces three barriers to exports: 1) tariffs and quotas; 2) the value of the U.S. dollar; and 3) sanitary and phytosanitary and technical barriers to trade issues.
Based upon a conservative and achievable expansion in foreign market access and maturity (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 fresh exports to Mexico and Japan) it is estimated that total U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would increase by $1.024 billion and create an additional 5,600 domestic jobs. This expansion represents an increase of about 21 percent compared to the current impact of potato exports annually.
A 2023 analysis authored by economists from Michigan State University found that the U.S. potato sector is a driving force of America’s economic prosperity.
U.S.-grown potatoes and potato-related products deliver direct economic activity (growing, processing, and retail) and support jobs in every corner of the country, generating an estimated
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