President Donald Trump is scheduled to sign Executive Orders Wednesday that began the process of building his “big, beautiful wall” on the US/Mexico border. But it’s likely that foreign companies will financially benefit from building the wall.
According to The Guardian, construction experts anticipate building the wall will cost more than $30 billion, despite Trump’s estimations, that it would be between $8 billion and $10 billion.
Gleeds Worldwide, a contract consulting firm, said that even taking into account natural borders like mountains and the Rio Grande, the wall will cost $31 billion and take 40,000 people at least five years to build.
The firm’s chairman, Richard Steer, explained that such an undertaking will be an expensive undertaking because heavy material needed for construction would need to be brought in to build in the more isolated areas.
Steer estimated $4 billion in concrete, $6 billion in steel and more than $2 billion to clear land and build roads to bring the equipment in.
“The idea of building a 1,000-mile wall which is designed to be impenetrable is something that may well come back to haunt the president,” he said. The wall was “a highly effective and eye-catching election tweet but a pretty unrealistic tendering opportunity as currently reported.”
A majority of the labor that would be brought in would likely come from the Mexico side of the border as well because their wage requirement is lower and more cost effective.
“There would be a certain irony of getting Mexicans to build it,” he noted. “It would likely be a mixed labor force, but Mexicans would be much less expensive.”
At the same time, the enormity of steel and concrete needed would require the U.S. to rely on Mexican-owned cement and concrete plants. Having the steel and concrete from U.S. companies means an added expense to transport it while the Mexican companies are closer to the border.
Bernstein Investment Bank estimated that the Mexican company Cemex is the best one positioned to provide the materials. It’s the world’s second-largest cement and building materials producer and in the last year, stock for the company increased by 130 percent, reaching an eight-year-high.
US builders Vulcan Materials and Martin Marietta Materials also have plants nearby. They similarly saw their stock increase, but only by 10 percent.