Cementing US-Mexican relations with a wall
According to the mainstream media Mexico is angry with president Donald Trump’s demands that they pay for a US border wall.
Published: February 4, 2017, 5:37 pm
But certain Mexican business interests would like to see the project start as soon as possible. Cement producer Cemex has been lobbying to ensure that Trump take office on order for construction to begin.
The Global Cement Directory lists Cemex as the largest producer of cement in North America with no real competitors in the US. Cemex ranks fifth globally, well ahead of their only Western competitor in Brazil.
In a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks the Mexican “monopolists” have a market share of almost 90 percent, while the US feature nowhere on the top ten list of cement producers globally.
Cemex has plants and operations in over 50 countries worldwide, including a number of assets in the United States. With quarries on both sides of US-Mexico border, it would easily be able to act as a supplier to the proposed wall, the Financial Times reported.
Contracting several smaller American companies to supply cement would entail wasted work hours. Trump’s projects are known to be often completed under budget and ahead of schedule, making it unlikely that Cemex would not be contracted.
Thus the funds for the wall will return to a Mexican concern. Contracting Cemex for the concrete needed is a win-win situation for both Cemex and Trump, as Cemex employs thousands of Americans in their US operations.
Both states already stand to gain from Trump’s plans to overhaul the US economy and renegotiate America’s trade deals, especially NAFTA. Financial analysts expect that Mexico could aid the United States in returning an increased percentage of its trade deficit to North America. Currently, some 90 percent of America’s trade deficit is held by countries outside the continent.
Additionally the weakening Mexican peso, which has dropped since Trump’s election, has made Cemex more attractive to foreign buyers.
The payout, estimated to be over $700 million for concrete and $240 million for cement, would add yet another surge to the company’s valuation on the stock market, as many contruction companies have seen their fortunes improve after Trump’s promise to build and a general increase in infrastructure investment.
A Cemex affiliated PAC lobbied for the wall would to become a reality. Data provided by the Federal Election Commission shows that the Cemex Inc. Employee Political Action Committee donated more than 80 percent of its funds during the 2016 cycle to Republican candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics
The majority of the Republican recipients listed as having received donations from Cemex have either expressed political support for Donald Trump or for a wall on the border with Mexico.
Cemex has thus actively sought to help ensure that Trump would have a Republican majority both in the House and Senate to make certain that construction of the wall would go ahead.
The relationship between Cemex and the United States is an example of Donald Trump’s diplomacy based on the art of the deal.
The media on both sides of the border however will continue to rile against the wall.
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