Mexican president says Biden is using avocado ban as a political weapon against his country

Mexican president says Biden is using avocado ban as a political weapon against his country

The Mexican president said the suspension of US avocado imports was part of a conspiracy against his country to protect US producers from losing “quality” Mexican produce.

After the US suspended fruit imports from its only Mexican supplier due to threats received by an inspector at an agricultural facility, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador dismissed the concerns as part of a US plot.

“There are also many political interests and political interests in all this, there is competition; they don’t want Mexican avocados to go to the United States, right, because they will rule in the United States because of their quality,” Lopez Obrador said.

“The truth is that there is always something else behind it, an economic or commercial interest or a political position.”

The suspension comes as the U.S. faces a shortage of avocado supplies in the coming weeks after more than 80 percent of the national supplier shuts down production, with experts warning prices of avocados and guacamole will rise.

The U.S. has not yet specified the threats the U.S. inspector received from the Mexican facility, nor has it said when the suspension will end.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the US ban on Mexican avocados was part of a conspiracy theory designed to protect US producers from Mexican competition.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the US ban on Mexican avocados was part of a conspiracy theory designed to protect US producers from Mexican competition.

Avocado prices reached $26.23 for a nine-kilogram box, standard shipping.

Avocado prices reached $26.23 for a nine-kilogram box, standard shipping.

The US has stopped importing avocados from Michoacán, Mexico, the only Mexican fruit supplier to the Americas.  Experts warn that the suspension will deplete America's avocado stocks and cause prices to rise further after prices have doubled since 2021.

The US has stopped importing avocados from Michoacán, Mexico, the only Mexican fruit supplier to the Americas. Experts warn that the suspension will deplete America’s avocado stocks and cause prices to rise further after prices have doubled since 2021.

Michoacán is the only Mexican state that is allowed to export avocados to the US.

Michoacán is the only Mexican state that is allowed to export avocados to the US.

The suspension came after a US inspector at the Michoacan facility received a threatening phone call.  Violence is rampant in a Mexican state where farmers have armed themselves to guard facility checkpoints to drive back the cartel.

The suspension came after a US inspector at the Michoacan facility received a threatening phone call. Violence is rampant in a Mexican state where farmers have armed themselves to guard facility checkpoints to drive back the cartel.

Raul Lopez, Mexican manager for research firm Agtools, said a US inspector was threatened after he discovered an illegal shipment of avocados bound for the US.  Lopez warns that avocado prices will rise sharply in the coming days

Raul Lopez, Mexican manager for research firm Agtools, said a US inspector was threatened after he discovered an illegal shipment of avocados bound for the US. Lopez warns that avocado prices will rise sharply in the coming days

Eight out of 10 avocados purchased in the US come from Michoacán, Mexico, the only state in the country that the US has been importing from since 1997, as the plant has been certified free of dangerous pests that could threaten US growers.

Michoacán has exported more than 135,000 tons of avocados to the US in the past six weeks, according to the Mexican government. The state is the world’s largest exporter of avocados, bringing in almost $3 billion a year to Mexico.

The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has begun working with Customs and Border Protection to allow avocados that were checked for export on or before February 11 into the U.S.

The government said it had reached an agreement that would allow avocados from the neighboring Mexican state of Jalisco to be exported to the US later this year.

After that, there will be no more avocados from Mexico until further notice.

The price of avocados has doubled and the offer could end in the coming days as the USDA suspended imports from Mexico after an inspector received a threatening phone call.

Avocado prices hit $26.23 per 9kg box, doubling from last year. The price is approaching its highest level in two decades, yielding only a brief spike above $30 last July due to global demand and the end of the growing season in Mexico.

Guacamole lovers have noticed that the price of a single avocado in their supermarkets has risen to $2.50 from $1.24 last month. In January 2021, they cost 99 cents.

Raul Lopez, manager of research firm Agtools in Mexico, told the Washington Post that prices will only continue to rise as the US depletes its avocado stocks due to the suspension.

“In a few days, current stock will be sold out and virtually any supermarket will be out of groceries,” Lopez said.

“There will be very few products available to the consumer, and prices will skyrocket.”

Chipotle Mexican Grill, known for its guacamole and Mexican food, said it is working with its suppliers to ensure there are enough avocados on request.

Chipotle is “working closely with our suppliers to address this issue,” Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung said in a statement.

“Our supply partners currently have several weeks of inventory, so we will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust our plans accordingly,” Hartung said.

The company hasn’t said how much the prices of its avocado-infused meals will rise, only that the company is already struggling with higher costs.

Moe’s Southwest Grill, another popular US Mexican restaurant chain, and Taco Bell did not immediately respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment.

Johnny Hernandez, a San Antonio restaurateur who owns 11 restaurants, told Kens5 that he has enough avocados for two weeks and expects to see a 50 percent increase in meals with the food.

“It will start affecting prices tomorrow,” he said. “We are already dealing with manpower and supply issues… It will make things worse.”

The Mexican Department of Agriculture said on Saturday that the United States had suspended shipments of avocados from the violent Mexican state after threats against a US health inspector.

A medical officer was conducting an inspection in Uruapan, a city in the state of Michoacan, one of the deadliest states in Mexico, populated by criminal gangs. For decades, it has been used as a center for drug trafficking, and the situation has only worsened amid frequent armed clashes for power between rival cartels.

The statement said public health officials did not disclose the specific nature of the threat, but it was serious enough to suspend imports pending the outcome of an investigation by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA.

Lopez told The Post that the inspector allegedly found an avocado from the state of Puebla at a plant in Michoacan that was destined for export to the US, which is not allowed.

“People from the institution tried to intimidate and then [threaten] inspector, so he reported this to the USDA, then they decided to withdraw all the inspectors and close the border indefinitely, ”explained Lopez.

In 2019, Michoacán manufacturers began to take up arms to protect themselves from thieves and drug cartels robbing them of their green gold, using AR-15 rifles to defend against the deadly cartels.

In 2019, Michoacán manufacturers began to take up arms to protect themselves from thieves and drug cartels robbing them of their green gold, using AR-15 rifles to defend against the deadly cartels.

Members of the Mexican drug cartel have threatened members of the lucrative avocado industry for years.

In 2019, Michoacán manufacturers began to take up arms to protect themselves from thieves and drug cartels robbing them of their green gold, using AR-15 rifles to defend against the deadly cartels.

Rapid growth in U.S. consumption has lifted the region out of poverty over the past decade, with Mexico exporting more than $2.7 billion worth of fruit in 2020, according to Statista.

But the cash flow has also led to an increase in extortion, kidnapping, and avocado theft.

The situation has become so dangerous that hundreds of avocado growers have formed a self-defense group called the Pueblos Unidos to protect their fields.

A bullet hole in the window of a house in El Aguaja, Michoacan, Mexico on February 9, 2022.

A bullet hole in the window of a house in El Aguaja, Michoacan, Mexico on February 9, 2022.

This is not the first time USDA officials have been threatened.

In August 2019, a group of inspectors were subjected to “direct threats” in Ziracuaretiro, a city west of Uruapan in the state of Michoacán. While the agency did not elaborate on what happened, local authorities said the gang robbed the truck carrying the inspectors at gunpoint.

The US lifted a ban on Mexican avocados in 1997, decades after the ban was introduced in 1914, to prevent weevils, scab and pests from entering US gardens.

The perilous situation in gang-controlled Michoacán gained renewed attention in January, with footage showing drug cartels using drones to drop explosives on residents of the Tepalcatepec forest.

It was the latest show of uncontrolled violence in the region as drones controlled by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel dropped explosives on the shacks.

The footage of the attack comes just weeks after the nearby town of Chinicuila in Michoacán reported that roughly half of its population had fled, many illegally, to the US to escape the cartel’s violence.

The rise in avocado prices comes as US wholesale inflation surged again last month, up 9.7% year-over-year, in another sign that price pressures remain high at all levels of the economy.

The producer price index for final demand, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers, jumped 1 percent last month after rising just 0.4 percent in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Companies facing higher wholesale and raw material costs have passed the higher prices on to consumers without hesitation, and recent data suggests that further increases are expected at the retail level.

With consumer price growth reaching a 40-year high of 7.5 percent last month, President Joe Biden has seen falling approval ratings ahead of the midterm elections and is now considering a plan to suspend the gas tax for a year to calm angry voters. . pump.

The government said last week that consumer-level inflation soared over the past year to its highest level in four decades, shrinking households, wiping out wage increases and bolstering the Federal Reserve’s decision to start raising borrowing rates.

Mexican president says Biden is using avocado ban as a political weapon against his country

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