So President Donald Trump is still planning to build that wall, it’s going to be a big wall, and he wants to make Mexico, scratch that, the American consumer, pay for it.
The proposed wall, which started as a giant insult but will now be a physical barrier along the U.S. and Mexico border, is going to cost a huge amount of money: $12 to $15 billion. Trump has repeatedly said he will make Mexico fund it and on Thursday afternoon his administration floated a less direct idea: a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico.
If that tax were imposed, it would be way more difficult — and way more expensive for regular Americans — to get Mexican imports, among other potential problems. According to the U.S. Trade Representative website, Mexico was “the third largest supplier of goods imported in 2015.”
The Trump tax, which is not yet a policy proposal, would apply to things produced in Mexico like vehicles, machinery, fruit, vegetables and perhaps even some of Trump’s own suits. But the main thing people on Twitter seemed concerned with? The avocado.
On Thursday, avocados became a rallying point for jokes on Twitter as people tried to cope with an economically and diplomatically troubling idea.
Because if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.
Stock up on avocados and cane sugar cokes while you still can!
— Dan Francoeur (@DanFrancoeur) January 26, 2017
Guys! This is my chance. I’m gonna import avocados into Canada and then smuggle them down into USA. I’m gonna be white girl rich.
— thirsty Ryan parody (@CharmingGrump) January 26, 2017
Stock up on avocados and tortillas, everyone. Gonna be a looooooooooong period of dysfunctionally psychotic trade policy
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) January 26, 2017
This will seriously become the first locus of political outrage over Mexican trade: guacamole shortages at Chipotle.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) January 26, 2017
I’m gonna miss avocados/democracy
— No Puppet (@eastsidekate) January 26, 2017
Exiting a meeting to find out avocados will probably be getting more expensive is like reliving Election Day all over again.
— Shelbie Bostedt (@ShelbieLBostedt) January 26, 2017
Middle America – sorry. Enjoy the last of your Mexican avocados.
— yobagoya (@EdenMW) January 26, 2017
The attention on the beloved and already expensive fruit is not new: It made cameos on viral post-election protest signs that took aim at America’s racial divide.
But maybe the protesters were right, sad as it is — threaten the almighty avocado and people pay attention.