Holy Guacamole! MSNBC Fears Avocado Crisis if Trump Closes Border

On Monday, the hosts of MSNBC worked themselves into an absolute panic over President Trump threatening to shut down the U.S. southern border in response to a recent spike in illegal immigration. Beyond concerns over the ongoing humanitarian crisis, anchors saw another devastating impact on the horizon – a possible avocado shortage.

Yes, that’s right, the reporters warned that consumers of guacamole and avocado toast would be hardest hit. “We have lots more show to get to now, including this eye-popping headline. The U.S., listen to this, would run out of avocados in three weeks if President Trump shuts down the border with Mexico,” anchor Hallie Jackson breathlessly announced early in her 10:00 a.m. ET hour show.

 

 

Hours later, her colleague Katy Tur broke the news to viewers: “So in talking about commerce, there’s a lot of headlines about avocados.” (Sadly this was not the beginning of April Fools joke) Touting a Reuters story featured on NBCNews.com, the host explained:

“Nearly half all imported U.S. vegetables and 40 percent of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” And that it would be three weeks before avocados run out in this country.

In fairness, Tur acknowledged that it was “obviously not the most important part of the story,” but still fretted to Los Angeles Times White House reporter Eli Stokols: “...it does raise the question about the USMCA. Has the President considered what this would do to his trade deal if he actually – if he actually did intend to shut down the border?”

In part, Stokols hyped: “I mean, if the President were to, you know, go ahead and do this just to sort of satisfy his base and demonstrate strength, he would be, you know, shooting himself in the foot because the economic impact would be immediate, and you might see factories, you know, car factories shutting down because they can’t get parts, you might see an avocado shortage, and a number of other things related to agriculture.”

During the 3:00 p.m. ET hour, host Ali Velshi actually opened his show by detailing the plight of “avocado lovers” across the country. “All of us are going to feel the impact of the border closure in the form of higher prices, shortages at supermarkets and other places that serve food,” he proclaimed before lowering the boom:

The move could be particularly tough for you avocado lovers out there. Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower in the world says Mexico’s supplies almost all of the avocados in the United States during the winter. The company says the United States would run out of avocados in three weeks if the border were closed.

So there you have it, the crisis is real. Sure we could survive without avocados, but would that even be a world worth living in?

Here are excerpts of the grave news coverage as it unfolded on April 1:

MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson
04/01/19
10:15 AM

HALLIE JACKSON: We have lots more show to get to now, including this eye-popping headline. The U.S., listen to this, would run out of avocados in three weeks if President Trump shuts down the border with Mexico.

(....)

MSNBC Live With Katy Tur
2:31 PM

KATY TUR: So in talking about commerce, there’s a lot of headlines about avocados. NBC News is reporting that, “Nearly half all imported U.S. vegetables and 40 percent of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” And that it would be three weeks before avocados run out in this country.

Obviously not the most important part of the story, Eli, but it does – it does raise the question about the USMCA. Has the President considered what this would do to his trade deal if he actually – if he actually did intend to shut down the border?

ELI STOKOLS [LOS ANGELES TIMES WHITE HOUSE REPORTER]: Right, well, I think just given the obvious economic impact of completely shutting down the border, it tells you, like Julia [Ainsley] just that, that it’s probably unlikely, that this is mostly bluster aimed at the President’s base and that the government is not likely to completely follow through and just shut the entire border down.

They shut down just the San Ysidro port in California in November for five hours after a skirmish there along the border and the economic impact just from five hours was more than $5 million. And so, I don’t think, that it’s likely. I mean, if the President were to, you know, go ahead and do this just to sort of satisfy his base and demonstrate strength, he would be, you know, shooting himself in the foot because the economic impact would be immediate, and you might see factories, you know, car factories shutting down because they can’t get parts, you might see an avocado shortage, and a number of other things related to agriculture.

(...)

MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi
3:03 PM

ALI VELSHI: All of us are going to feel the impact of the border closure in the form of higher prices, shortages at supermarkets and other places that serve food. According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, nearly half of all vegetables and 40 percent of fruit imported by the United States is grown in Mexico. The majority of imported tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries, raspberries come from south of the border.

The move could be particularly tough for you avocado lovers out there. Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower in the world says Mexico’s supplies almost all of the avocados in the United States during the winter. The company says the United States would run out of avocados in three weeks if the border were closed.

(...)

NBDaily Economy Immigration Conservatives & Republicans MSNBC Video Hallie Jackson Katy Tur Ali Velshi

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