We will run out of avocados if the President shuts down the U.S. Mexico border
(NBC NEWS) - If President Trump shuts down the U.S. Mexico border, American consumers will take a hit.
The United States is heavily reliant on Mexican imports of fruit, vegetables, and alcohol to meet consumer demand. Nearly half of all imported U.S. vegetables and 40 percent of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Americans would run out of avocados in three weeks if imports from Mexico were stopped, said Steve Barnard, president and chief executive 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 percent of the avocados in the U.S. right now. 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," said Barnard.
President Trump said on Friday that there was a "very good likelihood" he would close the border this week if Mexico did not stop immigrants from reaching the United States. A complete shutdown would disrupt millions of legal border crossings in addition to asylum seekers, as well as billions of dollars in trade, about $137 billion of which is in food imports.
In addition to avocados, the majority of imported tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries and raspberries come from Mexico. While there are other producers of these goods globally, opening those trade channels would take time.