To compensate for an estimated CAN$25 million in lost exports from the US, Canada has been trying to persuade Mexico to reopen its potato markets to allow imports of seed potatoes from Prince Edward Island, which have been banned in the USA.

Mexico has blocked seed potato imports from all countries for years, but periodically lifted the ban for Canada; in 1996 for instance.

Mexico has tight restrictions due to concern over potato leaf viruses that can devastate tobacco plants. The USA imposed the ban on the island's exports after an outbreak of potato wart was discovered.

By Monica Dobie, just-food.com correspondent

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