The United States could have a real national emergency on hand. With reports that President Donald Trump is considering the option of closing the U.S./Mexico border this week, experts are warning that it could prove to be very costly for the produce market.
Specifically, according to a report from Reuters, Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, says that the country could run out of avocados in three weeks if the border is shut down.
“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 said.
In fact, a whopping 40 percent of fruit and nearly 50 percent of vegetables in the United States are imported from Mexico.
And while we wait for the avocados to run out, consumers will have to suffer through higher costs for the imported produce products.
“When a border is closed or barriers to trade are put in place, I absolutely expect there would be an impact on consumers,” said Monica Ganley, principal at Quarterra, according to NBC News. “We’re absolutely going to see higher prices. This is a very real and very relevant concern for American consumers.”
Approximately $137 billion of food imports cross the United States-Mexico border, so a complete shutdown would have a very severe impact on the economy. And what would people eat for brunch if avocado toast is no longer an option? Oh, the horror.