The US ‘declares war’ on Mexican avocados: Why is it asking to ban its import?

The Mexican avocado is one of the special guests that cannot be missed at the Super Bowl celebration; However, this year, six senators from the neighboring country signed a petition to President Joe Biden’s administration to stop their arrival in the United States.

This is how the columnist explains it Jeanette Leyva Reus in his column published in The financial, titled The US ‘blockade’ on Mexican avocadoin which he points out that, although it is expected that avocado consumption exceeds 130 thousand tonsthe issue is already “in the crosshairs of US senators, who criticized the country for the way it is produced.”

Why does the US want to stop the import of Mexican avocado?

In a letter addressed to the Secretaries of State, Antony Blinken, and of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack, as well as the US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, Democratic Senators Peter Welch, Benjamin Cardin, Tim Kaine, Martin Heinrich, Chris Van Hollen and Jeff Merkley expressed their dismay at “the devastating consequences” of the avocado trade with Mexico.

The reason? The legislators argue that the avocado that arrives in the United States cultivated from Mexican lands “It is planted on deforested lands, with an irrational use of water and that has been denounced by indigenous communities that in the end are the target of attacks or murders”says Leyva Reus.

For this reason, they propose deny permissions export of Mexican avocado and prevent it from being sold in the US market. In addition, they asked the governments of both countries to pay urgent attention to this issue, highlighting that with this measure, “it would drastically reduce the economic incentive to clear forests or attack the people who defend them.”

They denounce the cutting down of forests for the planting of avocado

To make their point, the six senators cited a report from Climate Rights International (CRI) and a newspaper article The New York Times, in which the illegal felling of forests for the planting of avocado in Mexico is documented, mainly in the most exporting states of this fruit such as Michoacan and Jalisco.

“Although there is a work plan adopted by both countries, where the planting of avocado is supervised, it focuses only on the issue of pests, so now they are asking for certification that the land was not illegally deforested, and they even assure (without mentioning them) that there are Mexican officials interested in incorporating this change,” says Leyva Reus.

The senators gave a 45 day period for the corresponding authorities to deliver a report “to prevent the importation of avocados linked to deforestation, unsustainable use of water and violence.”

According to what was published by the CRI, currently Mexico supplies four out of every five avocados consumed in the United Statesand its exports amount to 3 billion dollars annually.