Trump announces start of wall construction on US Southern border

Mexico's Cemex, one of the world's largest cement producers, is open to providing the raw materials for President Donald Trump's promised wall between the two neighbors, daily newspaper Reforma reported on Wednesday.

Kriston Capps writes DHS' Customs and Border Protection said in a FedBizOpps notice posted Friday that it plans to release a formal request for proposals for the construction of the southern border wall on March 6.

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"It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime", Trump said. But since he took office he has walked back that plan - suggesting that he will instead take the money from the wall from United States taxpayers and then get it recouped from the Mexican government. Smaller companies also are on the list, and, according to The Hill, 20 are owned by Hispanic Americans.

Thus far, over 200 companies have indicated their interest in participating in the bidding process, including 39 self-identified minority-owned businesses.

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Some of the companies interested in competing for a design-phase contract include defense and engineering giant Raytheon, global construction company Caddell, and architecture firm Leo A Daly.

Companies have a deadline of March 10 to submit a prototype concept paper. It's led to Trump, one of the most unpopular presidential candidates ever to take the oath of office, holding a record low job approval rating for a newly inaugurated commander-in-chief.

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That said, Trump insists he will make Mexico pay for the construction, something the Mexican government says won't happen. An internal Homeland Security report forecast the total cost could be as much as $21.6 billion.


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