AUSTIN (KXAN) — The delays and protests at the international crossings between Mexico and Texas could soon mean a shortage of produce and other supplies in our area, according to an economic expert.
Edward Anderson with the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business said Central Texans should expect shortages on produce and more delays when it comes to vehicle inventory at car dealerships with fresh ingredients and key car components shipments stalled.
“We’re going to start feeling the pinch here in a few days,” Anderson told KXAN on Tuesday.
Enhanced commercial truck inspections put in place by Gov. Greg Abbott have led to gridlock and protest blockades at some parts of the border.
The governor lifted the extra screenings at one bridge after reaching a security agreement with Nuevo Leon, Mexico but said Wednesday he is not ready to do the same for other crossings.
Mexico is a major trade partner for the Lone Star State, and Central Texas finds itself in a particularly tricky position when it comes to supply delays — relatively close to the border but not close enough, and too far to get help from other places.
“A lot of our produce comes from Mexico,” Anderson said. “And it’s not that easy to redirect supplies, say from Iowa, down to us.”
The professor said with no immediate remedy in sight, consumers should expect shortages in the produce aisle soon and prices to likely climb.
That’s not welcome news for Flavia Arzate, owner of Flavia’s Kitchen, a Mexican food truck off West Oltorf Street in south Austin.
Arzate said avocados, a Mexican food staple, are also a key ingredient to a popular salsa with her name on it.
“We need a lot [of avocados],” she told KXAN. “And we can’t take it off the menu, because people are asking for it.”