If President Trump follows through with his threat to seal
the U.S.-Mexico border, it could have crippling
effects on both economies, and the avocado on your toast. Frustrated by migrant families arriving from Central America, Trump has threatened to take dramatic action if Mexico and other Central American
countries don’t do more to stem the flow of migrants
arriving at the U.S. border. “We’ll keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games.” Such a move could affect nearly 50 entry points,
stopping hundreds of thousands of daily border crossings. Per year, there are
approximately 350 million people who cross the border legally. The effects wouldn’t be limited
to the border region alone. It could also do serious damage to trade, as Mexico is America’s
third-largest trading partner, behind Canada and China. Retailers and citizens in San Diego got a small taste of a closing last year, when members of a migrant
caravan charged the border. And in response, U.S. officials closed the San Ysidro Port of Entry, in San Diego, Calif., for five hours. The fallout was damaging,
costing nearly 650 businesses an estimated loss of $5.3 million. But closing the entire U.S.
border would be much worse, putting the brakes on more than
$1.7 billion worth of goods that cross back-and-forth every day. One victim would be the produce section, with imports totaling $14 billion of fruits and vegetables
from Mexico annually. Americans would run out of
avocados in three weeks, according to Steve Barnard,
the CEO of Mission Produce, the largest avocado
distributor in the world. But, the inability to make avocado toast should be the least of your concerns. Tomatoes, berries, cucumbers, eggplants, zucchini and peppers would
also begin to disappear. Products from Mexico are
critical to the supply chain for companies throughout America, including the auto industry. Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research, told NPR that Mexico is
the source of 37 percent of all imported auto parts to the U.S. U.S. assembly plants are dependent on Mexico for critical parts. A shutdown would cause these
plants to grind to a halt. Trump wouldn’t be the first president to limit the crossings
along the southern border. President George W. Bush
partially closed the border after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and President Regan closed
the entire border in 1985 after the kidnapping of
a DEA agent in Mexico.

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