April 30,2002

Statement on French Fries and Trade Promotion Authority

History credits Thomas Jefferson with introducing French fries to our colonies in the late1700s. Today, Thomas Jefferson might be shocked at how tough it is for American potato growersto export their products.

Because of free trade agreements, Chile is phasing out its duties on Canadian and Argentinepotatoes. Tariffs on U.S. potatoes are stuck at 8 percent. As a result, U.S. potato producers arelosing their market share. Recently, U.S. potato exporters lost the Burger King account in Chile toCanadian and Argentine suppliers. That’s a real shame.

While the United States sits out of free trade agreements, other countries enjoy what couldbe our market share. The potato industry is just one of many reasons why our President needs TradePromotion Authority. While other countries use trade to build their economies, the United Statesfalls further behind. Without Trade Promotion Authority, our potato industry and many others willget eaten alive by unfair foreign competition.