Via Fox News:
Let’s hope that President Trump’s “one-year warning” issued to Mexico Thursday to halt the flood of illegal drugs and migrants entering the U.S. – or face a border closure and new tariffs – will influence Mexico to make some real changes.
Unfortunately, the media’s continual exaggerations of the dangers of closing the border may give Mexico the idea that the U.S. lacks the willpower to carry through on the president’s threat. If Mexican leaders conclude Trump is bluffing, there will be little reason for them to change their behavior.
Take the headline this week in the Washington Post, sternly warning: “U.S. would run out of avocados in 3 weeks if border is closed.” USA Today, NBC News, CBS News, CNN, and many other media outlets have run virtually identical headlines.
The stories all paint a simple picture: we would soon have no avocados to eat unless we keep getting them from Mexico. After all, avocados can’t be stored for more than three weeks, and nearly 90 percent of our current imports come from Mexico.
No more guacamole. No more avocado toast.
The news media are hyping avocados the most because they think that will strike close to home with people. But despite the certainty of these news stories, avocados wouldn’t disappear even if the border was closed for months.
The economics are straightforward. Mexico grows about 34 percent of the world’s avocados, and they account for almost half the exports. But other major producers include the Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia and Chile.
The United States imports fewer avocados than the European Union, Canada and Japan combined. If the U.S.-Mexico border is closed, avocados that would have shipped to these other countries would be shipped to the U.S., while the avocados that Mexico normally sends to the U.S. would now go to other countries.