Donald Trump has levied sanctions against $50 billion worth of Chinese goods and threatened to implement $100 billion more on a variety of products — but absent from any of those sanctions would be the clothes that Ivanka Trump’s fashion line manufactures in China.
Trump has escalated his tariffs on China after he claimed that the nation was taking advantage of America in trade. Trump initially placed $50 billion worth of tariffs on the steel and aluminum industries but has since threatened to implement $100 in further tariffs after China responded with tariffs of its own. But as Think Progress noted, Trump’s retaliation against China appears to exempt his daughter’s own business interests in China.
As PBS Newswire noted, Ivanka Trump’s fashion line makes clothes, handbags, and shoes in factories in China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. The company has discussed bringing the manufacturing back to the United States but has said that is not currently feasible.
Ivanka’s company has previously courted controversy. As Matea Gold of the Washington Post told PBS, Ivanka’s company is particularly hands-off when it comes to the working conditions of these factories.
“We found that the Ivanka Trump brand lags behind many in the apparel industry, both large and small companies, when it comes to having oversight of their foreign production,” Gold said.
That has led many critics to attack Ivanka Trump for producing goods under questionable conditions, especially while President Donald Trump has called on manufacturers to move facilities back to the United States.
That criticism has grown even louder after Donald Trump’s tariffs avoided Ivanka’s business interests. Trump’s administration said it used algorithms to determine which goods to target, the Washington Post noted, with an emphasis on having the least impact on consumers. That left clothing off the board, Think Progress reported, preserving the nearly $1.5 million Ivanka makes from her fashion line each year.
The report noted other instances of conflicts of interest for Ivanka.
“The clearest example of this ethical line-blurring comes from early in the Trump presidency, when Ivanka dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Trump family’s resort in West Palm Beach on the same day China approved three new trademarks for Ivanka’s company.”
There have been rumors that Ivanka Trump is planning to leave her post at the White House amid growing pressure and intensifying scrutiny, and there were also reports last month that Donald Trump was working with Chief of Staff John Kelly to determine an exit plan for Ivanka and Jared Kushner.