Now, food and agriculture officials in both countries are warning that a border closure would impact nearly half of U.S. vegetable imports and 40 percent of U.S. fruit imports. It would also eliminate nearly all of the U.S.’s avocado stock in less than a month, according to Reuters.
Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, the largest avocado distributor and grower in the world, reported Monday that if the border between the U.S. and Mexico were closed this week, the U.S.’s entire avocado supply would run out in three weeks.
“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.
Depending on how long trades were halted with a border closure, it could mean nationwide shortages and higher prices on avocados that are available, according to Delish.
Other food imports that would be halted and/or affected by a border closure are tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries and raspberries, as Mexico supplies the majority of these items to the United States, according to Delish.
Trump tweeted Friday, “If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug(h) our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week.”
....through their country and our Southern Border. Mexico has for many years made a fortune off of the U.S., far greater than Border Costs. If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2019
Trump added that “we lose so much money with (Mexico)” and closing the border would be a “good thing.”
According to Reuters, a complete border closure would disrupt millions of legal border crossings in addition to asylum seekers. It would also disrupt billions of dollars in trade, including $137 billion in food imports.
Monica Ganley, principal at the consultancy Quarterra, which specializes in Latin American agricultural issues and trade, told Reuters there would “absolutely” be an impact on consumers if the border was closed this week.
“We’re absolutely going to see higher prices,” Ganley said. “This is a very real and very relevant concern for American consumers.”
Mexico would also feel the effects of a border shutdown, as it is the largest importer of U.S. exports of diesel and gasoline, some of which moves by rail, according to Reuters.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico is doing its part to stop migrant smuggling.
"We want to have a good relationship with the government of the United States," Lopez Obrador said Friday, according to the Associated Press. "We are going to continue helping so that the migratory flow, those who pass through our country, do so according to the law, in an orderly way."