Are Mexican avocado troubles part of tit-for-tat play over US potatoes?

An agricultural head from the Mexican state of Jalisco has reportedly blamed the recent blockage of an avocado shipment entering the U.S. on delays in allowing potato imports from north of the border. Around 120 metric tons (MT) of avocados from Jalisco were blocked from entering the United States, and the Jalisco Avocado Growers and Exporters Association (Apeajal) opted to re-direct the fruit to Canada. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave the green light to avocado imports from all Mexican regions in May last year. But Minister of Rural Development for the Mexican state of Jalisco (SEDER), Héctor Padilla, reportedly alleged U.S. authorities had not allowed the fruit to pass as a retaliatory measure. “SAGARPA would not ensure the entry of potatoes from the United States into Mexico, and as a consequence, the North Americans said: Well then the avocados can’t enter either,” Padilla told El Economista. He reportedly said Mexican potato growers were responsible for the delay, but expected Mexican President Peña Nieto to step in and allow access to U.S. potato imports. In a statement given to Fresh Fruit Portal, U.S. National Potato Council CEO John Keeling said while the sector was interested in regaining Mexican potato market access, he could not comment on the specifics of the Jalisco avocado situation. More