It appears Ivanka Trump is not listening to her dad.
But perhaps that should not be very surprising because it seems hardly plausible that President Donald Trump listens to even himself. During Trump’s presidential campaign, the businessman often railed against companies that outsourced their manufacturing to South Asian countries like China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. He vowed to bring back jobs to America by forcing companies to hire native workers exclusively, but it seems his plans are not making much headway even within the Trump family.
According to a report in the New York Times, almost all of the products in Ivanka Trump’s clothing line is produced overseas. A tally compiled by ImportGenius, a trade database, found that there were at least 193 shipments of imported goods for Ivanka Trump’s brands just in the last year. The shoes and handbags, which sell in America for under $150, are made almost entirely in dingy factory conditions in China, while her dresses and blouses are made in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, according to a review of hundreds of clothing tags and financial documents filed by G-III.
For entrepreneurs like Ivanka Trump, producing overseas where the labor costs are ridiculously cheap is a sensible bargain. If fills their coffers quickly and more abundantly, and that is the primary reason that American clothing companies chase cheap labor overseas. Ivanka once conceded during a rare interview that being into the clothing business put her in a position where she could not but depend on overseas manufacturing to make big profits.
“When I started my business, I recognized where my strengths were and knew that I didn’t have any experience in production and manufacturing. I am not a designer. I am an entrepreneur.”
But while it is a not a completely flimsy line of defense, the problem is that her company — not unlike most businesses — is driven by the idea of raking in profits at the cost of taking away American jobs. Trump’s family has never intended to make America great except until 2016 when the current President suddenly had that epiphany.
And it becomes all the more problematic when her dad, Donald Trump, pivoted his campaign around the promise that he would bring back American manufacturing jobs. His vision on his website dictates that one of his priorities as president would be to “negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America’s trade deficit.” Calling out China particularly, he pledges to instruct “the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator” and to “instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO [World Trade Organization].”
It is the sheer hypocrisy of such a promise when his own company, and his daughter’s brands even more, completely depend on overseas manufacturing — and specifically on China — for making huge profits. As Racked found out recently, Trump’s ties are made under horrific conditions in Shengzhou, China, and in addition to his factory workers getting ridiculously low wages and living in cramped spaces, they are also subjected to appalling searches of their belongings. A lack of basic work benefits like sick leave and holiday vacations is just taken for granted in such conditions.
Donald Trump becoming the president has not changed that. Talk about leading by an example.
Now that Ivanka Trump is set to assume the “First Lady” role, her brands stand to benefit remarkably. It is clearer today that neither Donald Trump, or Ivanka, are interested in bringing back jobs to America. If they really wanted to do that, what better place to begin than their own home?
[Featured Image by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]