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Multinational ?ready to sell? cement for US-Mexico wall

LafargeHolcim CEO Eric Olsen reportedly told Agence-France Presse in an interview that LafargeHolcim was prepared to supply the concrete needed for the proposed border wall despite potential ramifications the company may face.

“We are the leader in cement, so we supply all our customers,” Olsen said. When asked about the possible ramifications this could have on the company he added, “We don’t have a political view on things.”

The proposed wall – ‘promised’ by Trump – has been valued at tens of billions of US dollars, and has provoked unprecedented criticism around the world.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault reportedly asked Olsen to “think carefully” before supplying material to build the border wall, insisting the company’s members had social and environmental accountability. {{image2-a:r-w:200}}

“[LafargeHolcim] should think about its own interests, as there are other clients around the world who are going to view this with a degree of surprise,” Ayrault said.

“I remind [the company] of its responsibilities.”

According to reports, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said that LafargeHolcim must consider the “ethical aftermath” of their business deals.

“Being a private company, whose headquarters are mainly in Switzerland, does not free them from having an ethical conscience and asking questions before participating in certain projects,” Macron told Agence-France Presse.

The company, created in 2015 after the merging of French cement manufacturer Lafarge and its Swiss counterpart Holcim, has a lot to gain if it is chosen as one of the ‘big winners’ of the infrastructure project, particularly as it returns to profitability after big losses in 2015.

LafargeHolcim already has production sites in Texas and operations in New Mexico and Arizona, three of the four US states bordering Mexico.

As previously reported by Quarry, the construction of the wall along the 2000-mile (3200km) border would require 339 million ft3 (9.6million m3) of concrete, providing huge demand for the aggregates sector.

According to the US Department of Homeland Security’s webpage, contracts are to be awarded in April this year, and the wall is scheduled to be finished two years later.

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