DENVER — If President Donald Trump shuts down the border with Mexico, the U.S. could run out of avocados in as little as three weeks, a top grower and distributor told Reuters.
Avocados and tequila would be among many imports the U.S. would not receive were the border to be shut down. The news agency reports that nearly half of all vegetables imported to the U.S. and about 40 percent of imported fruit comes from Mexico.
Steve Barnard, the president and chief executive of Mission Produce, said the U.S. would run out of avocados in about three weeks if the border is closed. Mission is the largest grower and distributor 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,” Barnard told Reuters.
Trump said on Friday that he may close the southern border of large sections of it if Mexico does not immediately halt all illegal immigration.
“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week,” Trump said in a tweet. “This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and ‘talk.’”
Reuters noted the shut down would go both ways, as Mexico also receives a significant amount of U.S. exports, particularly fuel.