Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Local Firms Bidding to Build Trump's Wall Despite Backlash Risks

By Joe Anuta 

President Donald Trump is pushing ahead with his plans to construct an impenetrable border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Hundreds of companies across the country have expressed interest in helping him, lured at least in part by an estimated budget of more than $20 billion. But despite the potential windfall, only 11 New York–based firms have so far been attracted to the job.

They are contractors, architects and little-known small businesses from Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, and their plans range from political statements to high-tech virtual defense barriers. Crain's spoke to four of them. Others declined to comment, did not provide coherent proposal information or did not respond, perhaps sensing that, in New York at least, even mere talk of being part of Trump's wall ambitions comes with risks of its own.

Local elected officials have denounced the wall, saying it runs counter to New York's legacy as a city of immigrants. One lawmaker has even penned legislation to penalize companies that participate in the barrier's creation. Yet despite the risk of alienating politicians—many of whom can influence which firms land municipal projects—the applicants from the city remain undeterred.

"I see this as a business opportunity, and I'd be foolish to dismiss it for political reasons, whether I agree with it or not," said Matthew Orent, chief operating officer at EIA, a tech-focused engineering and construction company in Long Island City that provides security for airports, seaports, transit authorities and energy companies. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Crain's New York Business (via The Empire Report)

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