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Grower warns that Mexican avocados could disappear if border is closed

Posted at 12:06 PM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 13:06:26-04

If President Trump follows through with his threat to close the Southern Border with Mexico this week, it could mean that guacamole bowls across the country could run dry.

A top distributor and grower of avocados warns that the U.S. would run out of the savory food in three weeks if Mexican imports are halted amid any possible border shutdown.

“You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100 percent of the avocados in the U.S. right now,” Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, 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.”

Analysts say it wouldn’t be just the ripe fruit that would be affected by potential trade disruption. Nearly half of all imported U.S. vegetables and 40 percent of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture reported by Reuters.

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.