As the war of words escalates between Donald Trump and Mexico over who will pay for the U.S. president's promised border wall, American consumers might want to enjoy their guacamole while they can still afford it. Mexico is the No. 1 exporter of avocados to the U.S., by a long shot, and President Trump said on Thursday that the wall could be paid for with a 20% tax on Mexican imports.
Avocados are just one of many grocery imports from Mexico. In 2014, the country was the No. 2 exporter of food to the U.S., sending more than $19 billion of the stuff, followed by Canada, according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.
And Avocados From Mexico, of all marketers, has been a notable advertiser in the past two Super Bowls ("First Draft Ever," "Avocados From Space"), with plans for a return for Super Bowl LI. It released a teaser last Monday that shows actor Jon Lovitz's before a hypnotic green background reciting phrases like "everyone loves guacamole" and "come and get it, hipsters."
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, Mexico is the top foreign supplier to the U.S. In 2014, the U.S. bought $5.4 billion of vegetables and $4.7 billion of fruit from its southern neighbor.
Food is hardly Mexico's only export. In 2015, the U.S. imported $316.4 billion of goods and services and exported $267.2 billion, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, making Mexico the U.S.'s third-largest trading partner for goods.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday canceled a planned meeting with Trump after the U.S. president said Mexico would pay for the wall, one way or another. Through press secretary Sean Spicer, Trump then said the wall could be paid for with a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports.
Mr. Spicer then told NBC News that such a tax isn't definite -- just one option the president is considering.
"It's not a set policy," the White House said in an e-mail. "It's just an idea that is being considered."
-- Bloomberg News with Ad Age staff