As the debate heats up over President Trump’s proposed border wall, there may be one ignored consequence with which many Americans have yet to come to terms … a scarcity of a few of their favorite foods and libations, including avocados.
Trump renewed calls for stricter border security recently as he cut off aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador– countries blamed for migrant journies that take a voyage through Mexico to get in the U.S. The president threatened to close the frontier with Mexico, adding that closing off trade was a distinct possibility, requesting $8.6 billion for the border wall in the process.
The United States is profoundly reliant on Mexican imports of fruit, vegetables, and alcohol to satisfy consumer needs. According to the current information from the United States Department of Agriculture, nearly half of all imported U.S. veggies and 40 percent of imported fruit are grown in Mexico.
Closing off trade because of the border wall disagreement would upset the passage of $26 billion of food imports in the U.S. from Mexico– threatening U.S. shoppers with worrying shortages and soaring costs for their groceries, especially their perishables. Customers would see the most significant impact in the fruits and vegetables section, of which Mexico accounts for nearly $14 billion worth of imports each year.
Top food and beverage imports from Mexico consist of $3.3 billion in beer, $2.3 billion worth of avocados, $1.8 billion in tomatoes, $2 billion in berries, $1.3 billion worth of tequila, and nearly $1 billion in peppers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Mexico is second just to the European Union as a leading manufacturer of food and libations offered in U.S. grocery stores. Last year, the U.S. imported an all-time high of $137 billion in food from overseas. EU countries shipped $27 billion of food, while Canada sent $24 billion.
According to Steve Barnard, president, and primary executive of Objective Produce, the biggest supplier and grower of avocados on the planet, Americans would run out of avocados in 3 weeks if imports from Mexico were halted due to the border wall debate.
Barnard explained, “You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100 percent of the avocados in the U.S. right now,” adding, “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.”
What is behind Trump’s renewed border wall push?
President Trump is growing increasingly disappointed at his incapacity to erect a border wall between Mexico and the U.S, as proposed during his presidential campaign. And now, he is trying to seek political leverage as a growing number of migrants travel through Mexico to enter the United States.
Closing the border would have a significant impact on both the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. It would upset complex supply chains. It would also hurt local economies who depend on tolls, traffic, consumption and more.