Why Mexicans may welcome the Great Wall of Trump after all

On Monday, the Republican Convention in Cleveland officially adopted Donald Trump’s controversial proposals to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

The hardline approach to immigration was agreed on by a voice vote on the floor of the national convention, and includes a border wall that "must cover the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic". (See "Republican Platform 2016".)

So the plan has moved a step closer to realisation. However, if the US were to build a wall along the entire length of its border with Mexico, the biggest winners are likely to be the Mexican cement industry, according to a recent report by investment analyst Sanford Bernstein & Co.

The New York-based research firm compiled a report analysing which companies would be likely to benefit from such a large-scale construction project.

They decided that if the Republican candidate were to be elected in November and to keep that promise, he would provide a major source of revenue for Mexican cement makers.

"It is not economically feasible to transport heavy building materials over large distances," the report reads. Because of that, "it is the companies with production facilities closest to the border that stand to gain the most as suppliers to the Trump Wall project."

As ludicrous as the Trump Wall project sounds (to us at least), it represents a huge opportunity for those companies involved in its construction– Sanford Bernstein & Co.

Bloomberg notes that the largest cement maker in the North and Central Americas is Cemex, a company based in Monterey, Mexico, that has dozens of facilities within 200 miles of the border in both countries.

"As ludicrous as the Trump Wall project sounds (to us at least), it represents a huge opportunity for those companies involved in its construction," said Bernstein analyst Phil Roseberg, the author of the report.

"Despite arguments concerning which government will pay for construction, the large quantities of materials required may necessitate procurement from both sides of the border."

Other cement companies in the region include Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua and US companies Martin Marietta Materials, Vulcan Materials and CalPortland, which is part of the Japanese firm, Taiheiyo Cement.

In their analysis, Roseberg and his team assumed the wall would extend 1,000 miles, be 10 inches thick and 40ft tall, extending another 7ft below ground and require around 7 million cubic metres of concrete.

The report estimates that the final cost of the wall would be $15bn.

However, Trump has suggested that the height of the wall may be anywhere between 35ft and 90ft, which makes pricing difficult. In September last year, he estimated that the wall would cost about $4bn, which he revised upwards to $12bn in February.

An analysis by The Washington Post in that month estimated that a 35ft-high wall would require twice as much concrete as the Hoover dam and the cost of the concrete alone would be around $700m.

The newspaper also approached a retired construction estimator who priced the entire job at $25bn, not counting the video surveillance system.

Image: Donald Trump and his wife Melania in February 2016 (Marc Nozell/Wikimedia Commons)

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  1. As a Gen.contract for 40 years the theft in 1000 miles add 1 to 2, bn. what a ass, work 24/7 for 40 years

  2. The wall is not going to stop underground tunnelling into America as was the case in previous years

  3. He is simply saying to Mexico : such a wall is long overdue: it will deny our and your criminals a very convenient escape route!

  4. If they can not come by land they will continue coming by small planes and by boats on both oceans. How will any fence stop them? Or they my come thru the Northern border?

  5. Questions: But for the Great Wall of China – would China even exist as it is in our present day?! Also ,likewise the case of the present Israel?! By the way its for the protection of the territorial integrity the each and every nation on earth that they have extensive security forces deployed to counter any hostile
    threat to their respective country’s present or future existence!!! Far from running this wall down they should welcome anything which can counter the deadly evils which are now proliferating world-wide!!!

  6. “Or they my come thru the Northern border?” North of the ‘Northern’ border is Canada! It is hard to see how thousands of Mexican illegal immigrants could first get to Canada and THEN cross the Canada / US border to get to the U.S.

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