Late last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump‘s proposed border wallwith Mexico, signalling that he is aggressively pursuing plans to erect “a great wall” along the 2,000-mile border.
According to media reports Saturday, the agency said it will request bids on or around March 6 and that companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build prototypes by March 10, according to a website for federal contractors. The field of candidates will be narrowed by March 20 and finalists must submit offers with their proposed costs by March 24.
Speaking to the Conservative Political Action Congress on Friday, he said: “We’re building the wall. In fact it’s going to start very soon.
“Way ahead of schedule. It’s way, way, way ahead of schedule.”
the department’s notice gave no details on where the wall would be built first and how many miles would be covered initially. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has sought employees’ opinions during border tours of California, Arizona and Texas.
It’s unclear how soon Congress would provide funding and how much. The Government Accountability Office estimates a wall would cost on average $6.5 million a mile for a fence to keep out people who try to enter on foot and $1.8 million a mile for vehicle barriers. There are currently 354 miles of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle barriers.
Republican leaders in Congress have said Trump’s wall would cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. Trump has suggested $12 billion.
An internal Homeland Security Department report prepared for Kelly estimates the cost of extending the wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border at about $21 billion.
Mexico wall warning
Mexico’s Foreign Minister has warned the US against imposing a tax on its neighbour to pay for a border wall between the two nations.
Luis Videgaray said Mexico could respond in kind – placing tariffs on exports to the US on products its businesses rely upon.
Mr Videgaray said Mexico would “have to respond” if the US tried to fund the estimated $21.5bn wall by taxing Mexican imports.
He said: “What we cannot do is remain with our arms crossed.
“Mexico will face this as a reality and not just as a rhetorical threat because we have realised that rhetorical threats come and go.”
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has previously insisted his country will not be paying for the wall, which is expected to cover the 1,900 mile border.