Donald Trump ’s plan to build a wall along the US-Mexican border and get Mexico to pay for it is perhaps one of the most controversial campaign platforms in recent memory. So controversial, in fact, that Mexico has outright refused to participate in the conversation. When Mexico refused to take part in the wall, Trump had this to say:
“The wall just got ten feet higher!”
So, it looks like Trump really wants to build a wall. Let’s say he does get elected and decides to actually build the wall. He plans to pay for it by blocking money transfers to Mexico and forcing them to finally concede into financing and building it. How would that plan look like, from a financial and economic perspective?
For starters, the US-Mexico border stretches 1,989 miles. That’s 3,200 kilometres. Luckily, the wall doesn’t actually have to be that long thanks to the presence of “natural borders” such as the Rio Grande. Even if we assume the length of 1,000 miles and a height of 40 feet (12 metres), experts suggest the project would need $711 million worth of concrete and an additional $240 million worth of cement. When you factor in such things as the cost of labour (something Trump has been known to avoid paying for), the total cost of the wall would swell to as much as $25 billion. Even under the most conservative estimate, the wall may end up costing $15 billion.
In either case, it’s much costlier than Trump’s suggested $10 billion.
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