PMA is closely following the developing situation of threatened closures of the U.S.-Mexico border by the U.S. Administration. There are a variety of shifting scenarios that stand to impact the global fresh produce and floral industry.?
On March 27, 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Field Operations
announced that they will? be temporarily re-assigning up to 750 CBP officers to Border Patrol Sectors that are experiencing an influx of traffic on the Southwest border. There has been at least one report of the closure of the Mariposa Commercial Facility at the port of Nogales for Sunday service due to the reallocation of CBP resources.
Any of these changes has the potential to significantly disrupt the trade flow of fresh produce and floral imports at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as possible retaliation by Mexico. Even the threat of closing the border is a detrimental action that impacts the entire produce and floral supply chain in both countries as well as consumers. A break in trade at the border would cause a major disruption in the complex North American supply chain, which could result in limited or no choices for certain produce and floral products and ultimately higher prices for consumers. Consuming fresh produce is the number one thing that any individual can do to live a healthy, vibrant life. Any delay or closure of the border would undo much of the increased consumption trends that have occurred since the implementation of NAFTA over 20 years ago by providing U.S. consumers with year-round access to fresh produce and floral.
To provide additional context, the National Association for Manufacturers estimates that businesses, including farmers, will lose $726 million every day if the border is closed. PMA believes in free and fair trade, not only to meet consumer preferences but also to ensure a healthier world through an open supply chain.
PMA is actively communicating with our trade association partners throughout North America and to trade and business media to keep stakeholders informed and provide an accurate representation of the impact this situation could have on the produce and floral industries, and ultimately consumers. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and will inform and provide guidance to industry members and other stakeholders as additional information becomes available.
PMA has engaged with regional and national media outlets to give perspective on how this will impact the industry and consumers. National press coverage so far has included The Washington Post, PBS Newshour, S&P Global and Time Magazine.