(Bloomberg) — Mexico says it hopes to resolve the U.S. ban on avocado imports in a matter of days after finding the source of a threat to an inspector that triggered the suspension.
The country’s presidential spokesman Jesus Ramirez played down the nature of the threat to the U.S. inspector, but said the government is working with its northern neighbor to guarantee everyone’s safety.
The ban on avocados from Michoacán, a coastal state just west of Mexico City that has been plagued with violence in recent years, went into effect on Feb. 11 after an inspector said he received a threatening call to his cell phone. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador responded by suggesting there were political and economic interests at play in the U.S. decision.
Ramirez, who said he didn’t personally know the culprit’s identity, said the threat wasn’t concerning. “It has no importance,” he said in a phone interview with Bloomberg News, saying he understands it wasn’t a “direct threat.” He noted that Mexico’s national guard accompanies inspectors to ensure their safety. “There’s no problem so we’re going to see what more is required.”
Separately, Mexico’s avocado export group APEAM met with several U.S. and local authorities to review security measures and protocols, according to a tweet from the organization.
Mexico accounts for 80% of the U.S. market, and the ban could drive up prices for American shoppers on yet another product in an economy grappling with its worst inflation surge in four decades.
Read More: Avocado Spat Brews After U.S. Inspector Is Threatened in Mexico
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Mexico Hopes to Resolve Avocado Spat With U.S. in Coming Days
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