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Happy National Avocado Day!
Managing Director of the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Matthew Rooney discusses the importance of avocados as they relate to trade, NAFTA, and our relationship with Mexico.
TRANSCRIPT: We wanted to wish everyone a happy National Avocado Day. We wanted to do that because we like avocados, but also because we don’t think people understand well enough where avocados come from, and how important avocados really are. In 1983, before NAFTA came into effect, American’s consumed approximately one pound of avocados per year- every American, on average, one pound of avocados per year. Today, Americans consume on average seven pounds of avocados per year. That’s over a million tons of avocados per year.
But, the United States only produces about 200,000 tons of avocados every year. That means we import from outside the United States -- about 800,000 tons of avocados every year.
Most of those, almost all of them, come from Mexico. Almost all of those enter the United States through Laredo, Texas. Those avocados that you eat, and you like having made into guacamole and other things, come to you from Mexico, courtesy of the state of Texas. Texas is proud and happy to be able to play that role.
I think it’s important for people to understand where things come from. To realize, that avocados are a great example of another important point about trade, which is that nations don’t trade -- people trade. The United States doesn’t import avocados from Mexico because the United States government has decided that avocados should be imported from Mexico, it’s because you and I enjoy eating avocados, and Mexico makes excellent avocados.