In May last year we commented on this blog on the seemingly impossible suggestion of a wall along America’s southern border with Mexico, outlining the many obstacles to be overcome before the wall could even be considered as a remote possibility.
However, President Trump has never let the seemingly impossible stop him and has moved forward with plans for a ‘large physical barrier’ via executive order, stating he expects construction to start within months. While initially US taxpayers will fund the construction, Trump has reasserted Mexico will ultimately pay for the wall.
While we are unaware what alternative facts the US Government has in its possession, Mexico has consistently maintained it will not be footing the bill.
The move is understandably highly unpopular in Mexico, especially alongside Trump’s threats to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement. That being said, Mexican cement companies and construction workers may be the biggest winners. The Guardian reports that low wages for semi-skilled construction work, settlements closer to the border and better positioning for the provision of materials sets Mexican companies and construction workers up for a windfall.
While cutting some cost for US taxpayers (on the reasonable assumption that we can take Mexico at its word that it will not pay for the wall), such a move would be controversial in the US, given Trump’s promises to create jobs for Americans – 25 million new jobs in the next decade, to be precise.