Scramble inside West Wing over Trump's border threat

Posted April 04, 2019

The President in the last week has polled several of his political advisers about whether he should take the step of shutting down the US-Mexico border, one source familiar with the discussions said. "I am not kidding around", the president said then, plainly exasperated by the migrant flow.

One importer warned that the USA would run out of avocados in three weeks, but guacamole is the least of it.

"I don't want to comment on it because we are playing right now - what you want to do is stop the emergency and the breakdown, and you want to try to limit whatever harm that does", he said. Saloumi says if the border were closed for a full week, he'd be out of business.

Del Campo Supreme, a tomato distribution company in Nogales, already is getting calls from U.S. supermarket chains anxious that a border shutdown will affect the supply of tomatoes from Mexico, said Jim Munguia, the sales manager.

White House officials, meanwhile, are beginning to signal that Mexico is already doing more to stop border crossings - a development that could give the President a way to save face on the border closing threat without appearing to back down.

"If trade were interrupted, US producers would suffer crippling disruptions of their supply chains, American families would see prices spike for food and cars, and USA exporters would be cut off from their third-largest market", he said.

A border shutdown also would cripple the produce industry in border cities such as Nogales, Arizona, where 60 per cent of winter vegetables imported from Mexico pass through the port daily headed for USA grocery stores and restaurants.

"You couldn't pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100 percent of the avocados in the US right now".

That means that workers in auto assembly plants would be out of work, and workers in USA vehicle parts plants would follow, since with assembly plants shut down, parts plants would be idled, too.

He also has turned his ire on Congress, which he said must change the policies that allow illegal immigrants to game the USA system and ensure it takes years to try to deport them.

Shutting certain border stations or parts of them would not be unprecedented.

"Let's hope the threat is nothing but a bad April Fools' joke", Dan Griswold, an economist at George Mason University, told A.P while calling Trump's threat the "height of folly". If we don't get those parts.

The spokesman for the American Farm Bureau told CNN that $13.7 million in agricultural products flow across the border daily just through the port of entry in Nogales, Arizona. It said it would provide transport back to Central American countries, Cuba, and Haiti, on a voluntary basis.

"You can't sell cars with missing pieces", she said. Dziczek says because some of those parts are central to a car's assembly, without them, factories would soon grind to a halt.

Perdue said he continues to remind the president of the concerns facing farmers today. But White House counselor Kellyanne Conway insisted on "Fox News Sunday" it's a real possibility. European Union member states have built over 600 miles of border walls since 1989 and deployed an additional 10,000 armed guards to keep out or deport anyone who makes it to the continent.

KELLYANNE CONWAY: It certainly isn't a bluff.