Donald Trump talks the talk about reshoring manufacturing jobs, but doesn’t walk the walk, according to recent analysis.
On the campaign trail as a Republican presidential contender, Trump has often boasted that he’ll make jobs in China, Mexico and Japan reappear on American soil.
“I’m going to bring jobs back to the United States like no one else can,” he said at the end of the recent debate in Detroit.
All the while, he’s blasted companies that manufacture overseas. Early in his campaign, Trump even pledged he’d stop eating Oreo cookies when it was announced some production would be moved to Mexico.
Yet, many of Trump’s own products aren’t made in America. Trump has already taken heat from Marco Rubio and others for the fact that his signature neckties and suits are made in China.
When looking at Trump’s entire network of enterprises, the outsourcing doesn’t stop there.
One Harvard professor and trade expert examined the Ivanka Trump fashion line — touted on Trump’s website as being part of the Trump Empire — which includes dresses, shoes and accessories. All of the 800 items are imported.
Thousands of other items including furniture, kitchen goods and “Trump body soap” are also made by companies who employ foreign workers overseas.
Of course, none of this is shocking in the world of manufacturing. Like many celebrities, Trump sells the use of his name to several companies who manufacture and sell the products, all without Trump’s direct oversight.
And it’s no secret that garment manufacturing largely takes place in Asia and South America, where Trump admitted in a CNN interview “the laborers are paid a lot less, and the standards are worse when it comes to the environment and health care and worker safety.”
Indeed, with the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. lost around 900,000 textile and apparel jobs between 1994 and 2005. As Trump has said, with the current trade situation, “It’s very hard to have apparel made in this country.”
The problem, of course, is his own business decisions show the disconnect between his campaign rhetoric and reality.
Trump has proposed a solution, however, in the form of a 35 to 45 percent tax on Mexican and Chinese-made goods, including apparel. The thought is that this will help even the playing field and encourage reshoring.
But economists have warned that such a high tax could ignite a trade war, and that China and Mexico would retaliate with high taxes of their own. Such a situation could make a host of everyday products more expensive for Americans and ultimately trigger a recession.
This latest controversy isn’t the first time Trump’s understanding of manufacturing issues has been called into question.
Earlier this month, Trump said he hoped to make Apple manufacture its products in the U.S. again. Only problem? Many of Apple’s components are already manufactured in America and always have been — it’s only the assembly that happens overseas.
Do you think Trump’s involvement in overseas manufacturing should be considered during his presidential campaign? Comment below or tweet us @MNetNews.