There were widespread media reports Monday of a possible avocado shortage if President Donald Trump follows through on his southern border closure threats.
Reuters posted a story highlighting the avocado as one of many fruit and vegetables imported from Mexico that are in constant demand, providing between 40 and 50 percent of U.S. supply. Almost all of U.S. imported avocados come from Mexico, as do raspberries, blackberries, cucumbers and tomatoes.
“You couldn’t pick a worse time of year,” said Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, in an interview with Reuters.
“We would be out of business for a while.”
A shortage would very likely also affect the price of avocados, Reuters also reported.
“We’re absolutely going to see higher prices,” said Monica Ganley, principal at Quarterra, Latin American trade consultants, according to the news service.
“This is a very real and very relevant concern for American consumers.”
According to the Ag Marketing Resource Center, U.S. consumption of avocados has increased significantly over the years, totaling $2.6 billion in 2017.
In a Twitter post Friday, Trump said the likelihood was “very good” that he might close the border this week if Mexico does not do more to prevent immigrants from arriving to the U.S. border.
Mexico must use its very strong immigration laws to stop the many thousands of people trying to get into the USA. Our detention areas are maxed out & we will take no more illegals. Next step is to close the Border! This will also help us with stopping the Drug flow from Mexico!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2019
Other outlets that published after Reuters included Fox News, which published a story warning of an avocado shortage within three weeks of border closure, and The Hill, whose headline stressed the resulting increase in avocado prices.
Newsweek also posted “Donald Trump’s Policies Could Cause U.S. To Run Out Of Avocados Within Weeks,” characterizing Trump’s tweet as being part of the president’s “attacks on immigration, Mexico and Central America.”
Trump has yet to take formal steps to close the southern border.
This weekend, he initiated halting direct aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, who citizens, according to Fox News, are fleeing north in organized convoys and overwhelming U.S. resources.
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