The White House has declared this “Made in America Week,” so it’s time once again for the consensus-reality community to point out Donald Trump’s rank hypocrisy, while the president’s die-hard supporters stare into the night sky waiting for the Hale-Bopp comet to transport them to Trump’s awesome solar-powered, free-drugs wall.
So, yeah, many of Donald Trump’s and Ivanka Trump’s products are still not made in the United States, despite the president’s scolding half the country’s businesses for using too much overseas labor.
As The Washington Post reports:
"For years, the Trump Organization has outsourced much of its product manufacturing, relying on a global network of factories in a dozen countries — including Bangladesh, China and Mexico — to make its clothing, home decor pieces and other items.
"Similarly, the clothing line of Ivanka Trump, the president’s older daughter and a senior White House adviser, relies exclusively on foreign factories employing low-wage workers in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and China, according to a recent Washington Post investigation.
"Asked at Sunday’s briefing whether 'Made in America' week would include a commitment from the Trump Organization or Ivanka Trump’s company to make more of their products in the United States, [White House Director of Media Affairs Helen Aguirre] Ferré told reporters, 'We’ll get back to you on that.'"
The chances that the White House will get back to reporters with a commitment from the Trumps to make their products in the U.S. are zero. Or, if not technically zero, vanishingly small. Like approaching 1/infinity — or roughly the same chance that Congress will convene an emergency special session to replace Lincoln on the $5 bill with Carrot Top.
When Trump has a choice between supporting American workers and lining his own pockets, he patriotically chooses the latter — because it’s just embarrassing how much richer some foreign oligarchs are than our own president.
Of course, this is not the first time Trump has been called on this. The difference now is that, by his own reckoning, he’s out of excuses for not manufacturing his products here.
We all remember Trump’s accidentally comical performance on David Letterman’s show in 2012. After Trump did his usual anti-China shtick, Letterman asked him where his ties were made. (Answer: China)
As if it were a legitimate excuse for supporting the economy of a country that, according to Trump, was “ripping our heart out,” Trump complained that he had no choice: “You know the fact is, because of the manipulation of their currency, when you go out, it’s very hard to get product that isn’t made in China.”
Three years later, in an interview with NBC’s Katy Tur, Trump once again bewailed China’s despicable practice of sending him giant shipping containers full of inexpensively made ties that he could resell at a huge markup. When Tur asked Trump why he won’t make his products in the U.S., he said, “Because China so manipulates their currency that it’s very hard to find companies that can do business in the United States.”
(Trump has also claimed that no one makes apparel in the United States, so he can’t possibly source it domestically. That is not now, nor has it ever been, true.)
So let’s just assume Trump is right and that — because China manipulates its currency — it’s historically been impossible for a businessman worth TEN BILLION DOLLARS to lease a small factory in Mississippi, pay competitive U.S. wages, and sell unremarkable branded ties for slightly less profit than he’d make if he outsourced the labor.
Well, according to no less an authority than our current president, China no longer manipulates its currency. Trump, who spent his entire campaign threatening to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, now says China stopped manipulating its currency as soon as he was elected. (Also not true, by the way; China stopped devaluing the yuan years ago.)
So why is Trump still selling Chinese-made goods? And why is Ivanka, as The Washington Post revealed in a recent investigative report, still sourcing her products from low-wage countries, including China?
If the Trump family is going to unethically profit from the Trump presidency, the least they can do is share the wealth with the rest of us. Right?