Media Warns Of Avocado Shortage From Trump Southern Border Closure

Whitney Tipton | Reporter

There were widespread media reports Monday of a possible avocado shortage if President Donald Trump closes the southern border.

A Reuters article highlighted the avocado as one of many fruits imported from Mexico in constant demand, with Mexico providing between 40-50% of the U.S. supply. Almost all U.S. imported avocados come from Mexico, as do raspberries, blackberries, cucumbers and tomatoes.

US President Donald Trump (L) listens to Jackson County Texas Sheriff A.J. Louderback during a meeting on border security in the Cabinet Room of the White House January 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (L) listens to Jackson County Texas Sheriff A.J. Louderback during a meeting on border security in the Cabinet Room of the White House January 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

“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 reported. “We’re absolutely going to see higher prices,” said Monica Ganley, principal at Quarterra, Latin American trade consultants. “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.

Trump said Friday that the likelihood was “very good” that he might close the border this week if Mexico does not do more to prevent immigrants from reaching the U.S. border.  Trump tweeted:

Fox News published a story warning of an avocado shortage within three weeks of border closure. The Hill 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 halted direct aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, whose citizens are fleeing north in organized convoys and overwhelming U.S. resources. (RELATED: Trump Puts A Timeline On Closing The Border With Mexico)

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