Ivanka Trump’s clothing line is manufactured in China, with large shipments of clothes bearing the Trump name being imported into the United States – but how can that fact co-exist with Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” mantra? Some critics now say that President Trump’s proposed rules do not seem to apply to his daughter, Ivanka, at least when it comes to where her fashion line comes from.
Back in his January inauguration speech, President Donald Trump stated he would seek to protect American businesses by following a simple method.
“We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.”
Ignoring the Ivanka Trump clothing line origins, Donald Trump repeated this mantra during a speech he gave in South Carolina on February 17, at an unveiling of a new Boeing aircraft, as evident from the White House official transcript of the event.
Trump promised at the event that he was going to do his best to “unleash the power of the American spirit,” and find ways to put people back to work while repeating his mantra of buying American and hiring Americans.
“We want products made in America, made by American hands… We are going to enforce – very strongly enforce our trade rules and stop foreign cheating. Tremendous cheating. We want products made by our workers, in our factories, stamped with those four magnificent words: Made in the USA.”
Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, seems to be the exception to the “Buy American” rule, as the AFP news agency reports. As Donald Trump was giving his inauguration speech, Ivanka Trump’s clothing brand was importing at least eight shipments of shoes, bags, and clothes, as stated on the U.S. Customs bills of lading.
The list of products made in China by Ivanka’s brand, and then brought to the United States, is substantial. From two tonnes of blouses to 1,600 leather wallets and 23 tonnes of shoes – all in all, 82 shipments of clothes were imported by Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand between Donald Trump’s win and February 26.
While some experts claim that Ivanka Trump wouldn’t have been able to manufacture her clothes in the United States at a reasonable price, another garment industry expert who spoke with AFP said the opposite, claiming that once you consider transportation costs and customs payments, products like polyester dresses could “definitely” be manufactured in the United States.
Recently, daily Chinese newspaper Global Times posted a video showing what it looks like inside one of the Chinese factories that work for Ivanka Trump’s clothing brand. The factory, where Ivanka’s shoes are created, has workers working around the clock, putting together shoes that will be sold in the U.S.
“Many said the orders for the Ivanka shoe line have not been affected so far. Industry insiders and experts said despite all the talks, President Trump will unlikely be able to bring jobs, such as making Ivanka’s shoes, to the U.S.”
This isn’t the first time Ivanka Trump’s clothing is criticized for not being from the United States. Back in February, Donald Trump gave his first Congress address, where he spoke about restarting the engine of the American economy and the importance of U.S. jobs and businesses. Trump’s daughter, however, came to the event wearing a French designer dress that was created in the United Kingdom, as The Independent reported.
The dress, created by French designer Roland Mouret, cost $1,868 and was produced in the UK. Ahead of her father’s speech, Ivanka Trump took to Twitter and posted a photo of herself wearing the foreign dress as she was standing next to her husband, Trump’s adviser Jared Kushner.
“Getting ready to leave the white house with Donald Trump”, Ivanka’s caption stated, “As he prepares to address Congress”.
Ivanka Trump’s dress was quickly criticized on Twitter, both for being made outside the U.S. and for allegedly not being appropriate for an official event in congress, with many saying a cocktail dress is not the right fit for a joint session of Congress.
Clearly, the Ivanka Trump clothing brand isn’t breaking any laws by importing from China, as many other businesses do the same. But with President Donald Trump putting such an emphasis on strengthening American businesses, and with him specifically calling on citizens to “Buy American,” it might look bad when his own daughter’s fashion brand does not follow suit.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]