America could run out of avocados in three weeks if Trump closes the US-Mexico border
Last Friday, President Donald Trump threatened to shut down America's southern border if Mexico does not take action to stop the influx of migrants into the United States. "If they don’t stop them, we’re closing the border,” he said at an event in Florida. "We’ll close it. And we’ll keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games. Mexico has to stop it."
However, a complete shutdown would not just disrupt the lives of millions of legal immigrants and asylum seekers; it would also affect billions of dollars in trade. According to the US Department of Agriculture, America imports nearly half of its vegetables and 40% of its fruit from Mexico. That includes tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries, raspberries and our beloved avocados, the official food of the Super Bowl and millennials' favorite container for engagement rings.
If all imports from Mexico were stopped, then America would run out of of avocados in three weeks, said Steve Barnard, the president of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world. "You couldn't pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100% of the avocados in the US right now," he told Reuters. "California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they're not relevant right now and won't be for another month or so."
"When a border is closed or barriers to trade are put in place, I absolutely expect there would be an impact on consumers," stated Monica Ganley, the principal at Quarterra, a consulting agency that specializes in global agricultural issues and trade. "We're absolutely going to see higher prices. This is a very real and very relevant concern for American consumers."
On Twitter, avocado lovers freaked out over the impending crisis, joking that now things are about to get real. "What if the inability to buy avocados and tequila is the thing that finally sinks Trump's approval rating among Republicans?" speculated one Twitter user. After all, who doesn't like avocados, guacamole and margaritas? Trump famously doesn't drink alcohol, but even he's been known to gorge on Mexican food from time to time.
The avocados! The avocados! Won't somebody please think of the avocados?!