FILE PHOTO: Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon addresses a business leader panel discussion as part of the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Reuters) – Walmart Inc Chief Executive Doug McMillon said on Friday the retailer was concerned that fresh produce prices would rise if tariffs are placed on imports from Mexico.
“We are concerned about that category. … We don’t want prices going up on those fresh items for customers and we will resist it as long as we can but we can’t tell when those prices have to go up,” McMillon told reporters at Walmart’s shareholders’ meeting.
“If the customer is focused on avocado prices, we will hold those prices for as long as we can and focus elsewhere.”
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday there was a “good chance” that the United States would be able to reach a deal with Mexico over migration, although his administration was still pushing ahead with a plan to slap import tariffs on its southern neighbor next week.
McMillon also said the retailer will change sourcing bases on products when possible.
“Where we can change sourcing, whether it’s Mexico, it’s China, we will but where we can’t we just have to deal with it and find places where we can cut costs in the near term,” he said.
McMillon did not give details on how much Walmart procures from China or Mexico.
On Thursday, Walmart U.S. Chief Executive Greg Foran told Reuters the impact from tariffs on imports from Mexico will be “significant” for Walmart. He declined to share additional details.
Reporting by Nandita Bose in Fayetteville, Arkansas; Editing by Phil Berlowitz