b'NPC Mid-Year Policy Reportby Kam Quarles, NPC Executive Vice President and CEOissue over the finish line.Mexicoisextremelypositive.Though volumes are low given the time of the That meeting was followed up by a visityear, the successful exports so far have bythestatepotatoassociationman- taken us to a place that we have never agers, who, in May, met with key mem- been. As a reminder, the previous failed bers and committee staff, and built onattempttoexportlastedthreedays our relationships with members of thebefore lawsuits closed the market again. Biden Administration. As of this writing, we are a month in andshipmentscontinuetomove. During an in-person meeting at NPCsPhotographsofU.S.freshpotatoes office,thegroupmetwithJennythroughout Mexico are arriving daily. Moffitt,USDAUnderSecretaryfor MarketingandRegulatoryPrograms,However, the caution we indicated after Reporting from our nations capital: Theand Dr. Mark Davidson, USDA Deputylast years Mexican Supreme Court rul-hangover from the two-year pandemicAdministrator,PlantProtectionanding must be reiterated here. The war is is slipping away and Washington, D.C.Quarantine, to express the potato indus- not over, rather the battlefield is chang-is working its way back to regular busi- trys gratitude for the Administrationsingfromthelegaltotheregulatory ness. support in gaining fresh potato access toarena.ItisverylikelythatMexicos the full Mexican market and discuss theenhanced testing regime will generate In late February and early March, NPCongoing cooperation needed to keep theissuesinthefuture.Howsignificant hostedoneofitsmostimpactfulborder open. The State Managers thenthose issues are will likely involve poli-WashingtonSummitsever,hostingwalked to Capitol Hill to meet with keytics with a light seasoning of science. dozens of Senators and RepresentativescommitteestaffmemberstodiscussWe all know that Mexico remains an up-in person, as well as hearing from high- 2023 Farm Bill priorities and ensuringhill battle and weve not heard the last rankingmembersoftheAdministra- that potatoes retain their rightful placefrom CONPAPA. The real test will come tion. This advocacy occurred at a criticalin federal feeding programs.duringthisfallsharvestwhenpotato time, as it helped move the needle onexports ramp up. All of us throughout MexicotowardthesuccessfulexportsAstheorganizationpausestohostitstheindustrywillneedtocontinueto that occurred just a few weeks later. Duefirst in-person Summer Meeting in twowork together and with our partners at to our efforts, we were able to build sup- years in Nashville, I wanted to take thisUSDA and USTR to ensure that vital bor-port for a bipartisan letter signed by 34opportunity to report on some signifi- der remains open, and that additional members of the House and Senate urg- cant successes weve seen over the pastmarkets open up for our products. ing USDA to press Mexico to honor itsfew months, and point out some chal-commitments to restore full access forlenges we foresee in the future.PEI StatusU.S. potatoes. The Biden AdministrationAsmuchcreditaswegavethe heard our message, and we believe thatMexico Fresh Access AdministrationforMexico,thereare additionalpressurehelpedbringthatAt this point in time, the situation inconcernsabouttheirhandlingofthe 8 POTATO GROWER JULY/AUGUST 2022'