Under normal circumstances, a construction project should be awarded through a contest to the company with the best offer, but Trump appears eager to cut through bureaucracy to get the job done.
US President Trump wants to build that wall — and it should be cheap and fast. And it appears like he’s already found the perfect men for the job: a North Dakota construction company called Fisher Industries.
Normally, the process should go through a tender with several bidders. However, Trump seems to be willing to change the rules and offer the contract to Fisher directly, believing the company can do the job faster and cheaper than competitors, according to a Washington Post report.
“The President is one of the country’s most successful builders and knows better than anyone how to negotiate the best deals”, White House Press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “He wants to make sure we get the job done under budget and ahead of schedule”.
The company claims it has a patent-pending construction method that would allow it to construct the wall much faster and cheaper than its competitors, The Washington Post report says.
The mysterious method has been tested by Senator Kevin Cramer, who visited the company’s HQ in North Dakota during his 2018 Senate campaign. At the time, Cramer even posted a photo of himself driving an excavator.
“Here at Fisher Industries in Dickinson ND, I tested just how easy it is to install a panel of wall myself”, Cramer wrote on Twitter.
Cramer praised the president for his organisational skills while speaking about Trump’s involvement in the border wall construction project.
“Good for him. It’s why he is the president of the United States. He knows a thing or two about building big projects”, Cramer said. “This is why he’s president”.
According to Cramer, Trump was elected to “cut through Washington’s entrenched bureaucracy”.
Fisher is also being promoted by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior advisor to the president. Being deeply involved in the wall construction project, Kushner has personally investigated why the US Army Corps of Engineers sought to favour other companies over Fisher. According to The Washington Post, Fisher was initially rejected because its proposed wall project was of inferior quality.
After some pressure from the White House, then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen demanded the company make changes in their project proposal so that they could bid for the contract.
Critics of the company say Cramer is backing it only because it was a major donor, donating $10,000 (the largest sum allowed) to Cramer’s campaign in 2018. The senator denies allegations of favouritism, saying he favoured the company long before his run for the Senate.
“I was doing it before they were a financial contributor”, he said. “For no other reason than the fact that [company CEO Tommy Fisher] is a constituent of mine”.
Trump is seeking to build some 400 miles of border wall by next year, because building a wall to keep illegal immigrants at the US-Mexico border from entering the country was arguably the biggest pillar of Trump’s presidential campaign. Fisher Industries promises to build 200 miles in one year. The company even began constructing a demo portion of the border wall, using funds from a private non-profit We Build the Wall, whose advisory board includes White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon, Blackwater USA founder Erik Prince, ex-congressman Tom Tancredo and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, The Washington Post report says.