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Could Trump’s Wall Alleviate Government Construction Spending Concerns?

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The United States possesses the second largest construction market in the world, falling just behind China with an overall share of about 10%. However, in recent years that share has been showing signs of potentially slipping.

Just recently the domestic construction market saw a small decline of 1.3% in June, the second decline in three months. The majority of the decline appeared to have been from government spending.

While home construction only declined 0.2%, government construction fell 5.4% in June, the biggest drop since May 2002. While nonresidential construction increased again, it only increased by a dismal 0.1%.

However, since his earliest days on the campaign trail, President Donald Trump has promised to implement major infrastructure projects. In fact, his signature proposal, the controversial border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, is itself a massive government construction project. While Democrats have promised to stop the wall, the federal government recently waived some environmental laws to speed up construction.

The Department of Homeland Security, with permission and orders from the President, will waive 37 laws and regulations to create President Trump’s wall prototype. They will also be replacing existing border infrastructure along a 15-mile stretch on the southern border.

This ability comes from the 2005 Real ID act, which gives the department the ability to waive laws for infrastructure construction on borders. Already, environmental groups are promising to file a lawsuit against the government.

“While the waiver eliminates DHS’s obligation to comply with various laws with respect to covered projects, the department remains committed to environmental stewardship with respect to these projects,” the department said in a statement.

Despite the protest of the environmentalist groups, the government is still going forward with their plans to build the wall and its prototypes. If the border wall does go into construction, it could provide a major boost to government construction spending.