German builder Hochtief yesterday countered media speculation that it might bid to build US President Donald Trump’s wall against Mexico, saying neither it nor its US subsidiaries would bid for such a contract.
Speculation began on 28 February when Hochtief’s chief executive Marcelino Fernández Verdes said "No decision has been made yet. But we are open for all contracts in the US", in response to a reporter’s question during the company’s 2016 results press conference.
His words sparked negative reaction in Germany, where Der Spiegel magazine asked its readers whether a German company would be right to participate in the project. More than 47,000 responded, of which around 57% said it was "morally reprehensible".
In response yesterday (2 March) Hochtief issued a statement entitled "No plans to build a Wall".
"We emphasize that neither Hochtief nor our US-subsidiaries are pursuing plans to tender for this wall," the statement said.
The statement in full read as follows:
"Clarification: No plans to build a Wall
"There have been speculations in the media, Hochtief might be interested in building a wall between the USA and Mexico.
"We hereby declare:
"At the Business Results Press Conference on February 28, Hochtief did not make any statement on the construction of a wall between the USA and Mexico.
"We explained that two American subsidiaries of Hochtief operate in this market. These companies decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not they tender for a contract.
"We emphasize that neither Hochtief nor our US-subsidiaries are pursuing plans to tender for this wall."
Image: President-elect Donald Trump addresses fans in Hershey, Pennsylvania, during a "Thank You Tour" in December 2016 (Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons)