State and Cities Blacklisting Border Wall Contractors
On March 29, more than two dozen members of Congress called on the U.S. Department of Justice to take action against the discrimination (blacklisting) of private companies that work or supply services for the construction of the border wall. Some two dozen cities and states have adopted or are considering legislation discriminating against companies—designers, prime contractors, subcontractors and suppliers—that work on or support construction of the border wall. In some cases, legislation would bar the city or state from contracting with those firms entirely and require their public pension firms to divest from those companies.
AGC has longed voiced its concern that, unless checked, these blacklisting efforts will embolden state and local officials to obstruct the federal government’s lawful functions whenever it may serve their narrow political interests. Similarly, discriminatory measures could easily multiply, as state and local officials seek to advance their political careers at the expense of federal priorities. Threatened by discrimination and without assurance that the DOJ will take a stand on such legislation, private companies will understandably hesitate to work in the federal marketplace.
To date, neither the Trump administration nor Congress has asserted the federal government’s constitutional prerogative to prohibit states or localities from thwarting this federal government national security initiative. This inaction not only undermines President Trump and Congress’s commitment to securing our borders, but also puts federal contractors at risk of unlawful discrimination.
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.