French construction giant Vinci says ‘non’ to helping build Trump’s wall

French construction giant Vinci says 'non' to helping build Trump's wall
Photo: AFP
The CEO of the French construction group Vinci said Tuesday that he would not participate in the building of any wall on the US border with Mexico, called for by President Donald Trump.

“I have to take into account the reality of my company, our culture, our way of doing things and our sensitivities, not only those of my American colleagues, but around the world,” Xavier Huillard told BFM Business television.

“For these reasons, and this is not at all a value judgment on the United States, we prefer not to touch this wall.”

The barrier that Trump has promised to erect along the US-Mexico border, a project valued at tens of billions of dollars, is at the centre of a diplomatic crisis between Mexico City and Washington and is provoking criticism around the world.

“If we decide to do something that's likely to offend a majority of our employees, I think it's wiser to avoid it,” Huillard said.

Vinci is the latest company to stake its ground on what would be an enormous project potentially worth billions of dollars for suppliers and builders.

The CEO of Vinci's French rival Bouygues said last month that he was not interested in the project, saying it would be “a metal structure” in which his company did not have any particular expertise.

But the French-Swiss group LafargeHolcim is ready to sell its cement to build the controversial border wall, the company's chief said in an interview this month.

“We are here to supply our customers' needs,” Eric Olsen told AFP. “We don't have a political view on things.”