Potato news: Japanese tariffs down; Potato U announced

For the Basin Business Journal | June 20, 2021 1:00 AM

Japanese tariffs on potato products reduced, eliminated

Frozen fries will now be able to enter Japan tariff-free. Japan announced at the beginning of April it was eliminating the 2.1% tariff on frozen fries from the U.S. as part of a trade agreement, according to the Washington State Potato Commission.

Other potato products are also seeing a reduction in tariffs. Tariffs on potato flake granules and pellets have been reduced to 6.6% with tariffs on dehydrated lines from 4% to 8.6%. These products will receive annual tariff reductions on April 1 until all the products are tariff-free. The reductions should be complete in 2028.

The reduction of Japanese tariffs on U.S. potato products will help the already thriving potato trade between the two countries. Currently, Japan is the largest importer of frozen fries from U.S. producers. In 2020, the U.S. companies exported $268 million worth to Japan.

Japan has trade agreements with other countries, such as Canada, New Zealand and members of the European Union that will also enjoy tariff-free exports to Japan.

Mobile COVID-19 vaccines available

Pliable, a company co-founded by two nurse practitioners based in the Puget Sound area, is bringing COVID-19 vaccine clinics to farmworkers in central and eastern Washington. All are welcome to be vaccinated, regardless of immigration status or insurance.

To schedule a vaccination clinic, email admin@bepliable.com. Volunteer translators may be requested. Visit bepliable.com to learn more.

Opportunities for students to learn about agriculture and science

MOSES LAKE — The Washington State Potato Commission has announced the creation of Potato U, an online education center for sixth-graders. The potato commission partnered with the Washington State Potato Foundation, the Three Rivers Community Foundation and educators to create a curriculum for students to learn about agriculture and potatoes while meeting state and national curriculum standards.

Potato U is free for all students and educators. For more information, email Brandy Tucker at btucker@potatoes.com or visit potatoes.com/potato-u.

For students interested in food and science, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a science website that teaches students in kindergarten through 12th grade about various aspects of science. AgLab introduces students to career fields in science, technology, engineering and math, demonstrates the importance of agricultural research and teaches different aspects of nutrition, to name a few examples. There are also hands-on science experiments for students to participate in. To learn more, visit aglab.ars.usda.gov.