Photo by Charles Krupa for Associated Press
For all his bluster about the loss of American jobs to workers overseas, Donald Trump doesn’t appear be overly concerned about the example he’s setting. Or isn’t setting, as the case may be. Despite flogging U.S. companies like Apple and Ford for taking advantage of low-wage labor abroad, and, at one point, claiming that he would favor a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the United States, the presumptive G.O.P. presidential nominee fabricates many of the clothing products that bear his name outside the country he wants to “make great again.” Most of the merchandise in his eponymous Donald J. Trump Collection, which includes neckties, suits, dress shirts, cufflinks, and eyeglasses, hail from far-flung locales such as Bangladesh, China, and Honduras, or are listed under the vague, catchall term of “imported.”
MADE IN THE U.S.A.
It’s the same with the line of shoes, jewelry, and accessories marketed by Trump’s daughter—and frequent campaign surrogate—Ivanka. Made overseas, largely in China, they used to appear on the Trump Organization website until their removal in March, presumably over the outcry over outsourcing.
The party line of “do as I say, not as I do” extends to Trump’s wife, Melania, who previously partnered with QVC to hawk a range of Chinese-made watches and jewelry.
Defending the foreign origin of his products to George Stephanopoulos on ABC News on Sunday, Trump said that “they don’t make a lot of these products. They don’t even make them here anymore.”
While it’s accurate that a staggering 97 percent of apparel and 98 percent of shoes sold in the United States is produced overseas, Trump is erroneous in his assertion that the products he sells cannot be obtained from domestic manufacturers.
“It is certainly true that a huge share of our clothing and footwear is made outside of the United States,” Robert Z. Lawrence, a Harvard University trade economist who conducted a census of the Trump family brands, told FactCheck.org. “But the idea that we don’t make any clothing is rubbish.”
Considering the fact that Amazon advertises a couple of his suits as “made in the United States,” Lawrence added, the businessman should really know better.
To drive the point, well, home, The Americanologists, a website that collates American-made products, lists 17 manufacturers of American shirts and 20 that make ties. (Ecouterre’s archives speak for themselves, as well.)
FactCheck.org also took Trump to task for rejecting Stephanopoulos’s statement that Brooks Brothers is a brand that makes products in the United States.
“Well, they—but they don’t make here,” Trump said when Stephanopoulos name-checked the menswear brand. “They don’t make here, not that I see.”
In an email to Factcheck.org, Arthur Wayne, a spokesman for Brooks Brothers, said that “100 percent of Brooks Brothers retail ties are made in our factory in Long Island City, N.Y.; approximately 85 percent of our suits are made in our factory in Haverhill, Mass.”
He also noted that the company makes its button-down polo oxford shirts, made-to-measure shirts, and some luxury shirts at its factory in Garland, N.C.
Rather than believe that “they don’t even make this stuff here,” it’s more likely that Trump, like most Americans in a recent poll, prefers to keep his dollars to himself.