Trump's beef with Mexico threatens avocados supply

Trump’s beef with Mexico threatens avacados supply

Holy guacamole! While Jon Lovitz is expected to hawk avocados from Mexico during the Super Bowl on February 5th, US aficionados of the delectable green fruit may soon be hard put to find them as tensions continue to mount between Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto over the proposed border wall.

In fact, Nieto canceled a meeting with Trump this week after restating that his country would not finance the project. Mexico sees Trump’s pet project as both an affront and source of economic strife after it was announced that the wall could be funded by a 20% import tax on goods entering the US. If approved by Congress (which remains doubtful) this could include avocados. Mexico is the #1 exporter of avocados to the United States, where per capita consumption has grown from 2 pounds in 2001 to 7 pounds in 2016.

In fact, Mexico was the No. 2 exporter of food to the US in 2014, which reportedly purchased nearly $5 billion of worth of fruit, and about $5.4 billion in vegetables from its neighbor to the south. Canada remains the 2nd highest foreign exporter of foods here according the American Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.

Meanwhile, it should be noted Mexico is also the US’s 3rd largest trading partner for all goods, including $316.4 billion of products and services imported here, as well as some $267.2 billion goods and services sold by the US to Mexico in 2015, as reported by the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Although avocados have become a successful cash crop in southern California (where 95% of all US farms are found including one owned by actor Tom Selleck), Mexico remains far the world’s largest avocado growing country by far with more than 415,520 acres (primarily) in Morelos, Nayarit, Puebla, and Michoacan, devoted to the plant The Dominican Republic is the 2nd largest producer of avocados in the world, followed by Colombia, Peru and Indonesia.

Generally eaten raw avocados are high in oleic, palmitic and linoleic acids, avocados are rich in vitamins B, K, C and E, as well as potassium, and contain phytosterols and carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. While US consumers generally tend to eat them raw as well as the basis of guacamole, they are also the basis of California rolls at American sushi bars.

In the meantime, the green fruit has become a favorite in many foreign countries such as the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and coastal Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka regions of India were it is often used for milkshakes using chocolate, sugar and milk, and (occasionally) added to ice cream and other desserts. Moroccans also enjoy a similar drink adding a hint of orange flower water. Meanwhile avocados are commonly served in sandwiches, sushi, on toast, or with chicken in Australia and New Zealand, as well as often eaten alone in sandwiches in Ghana, etc.

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