Unauthorized, unofficial, or knock-off Chinese Make America Great Again hats and Trump 2020 flags are being delayed in delivery to their American buyers, Business Insider reports. This news comes amidst the beginnings of a United States/China trade war marked by broad tariffs against each other’s exports, targeting everything from seafood, beer, and wine to – most importantly in this case – textiles and apparel.
Chinese textile manufacturers and suppliers have taken to giving their side of the story to state broadcaster Global Times to bemoan the impact that the tariffs are having on their export business.
“Usually the goods only take 10 days to reach US customers. Now it is taking 15 days or longer,” Wu Yuepei, a manager representing Qiwang Textile Product, was quoted as saying by the Global Times.
The Chinese shopkeepers and textile industry members quoted in the Global Times reportage have serious doubts that American consumers will be able to shift their buying pattern away from Chinese manufacturing, particularly in terms of cost and value proposition. A man named Wang, tending shop for Keqiao Jiahao Arts & Crafts Co. in Yiwu’s shopping mall and bazaar, said that his operation had fulfilled orders for over 50,000 Trump flags so far this year alone.
The article by the Chinese state media goes on to claim that not only will the cost of a Chinese made MAGA hat double from $9 to about $20 due to the heavy tariffs, but further that delays at the border due to stricter control of tariff bearing items means processing will punish the end consumer.
While several Chinese textile workers have been producing unofficial and unauthorized Trump gear full-tilt to satisfy heavy consumer demand, Business Insider reports that an official spokesman for the Trump administration reached out to clarify that all official Trump merchandise was made in America, and should not be confused with Chinese alternatives.
President Trump has effectively pushed for a 10 percent import tariff on a slew of Chinese made goods, a package targeting a total $200 billion in imported products, in a move to balance an enormous trade deficit that the United States currently has with the developing nation. The United States shows a whopping $152 billion trade deficit with trading partners in China according to the U.S. Census Bureau so far for 2018, with approximately half of the year yet to go.
Trump has spoken at length during his presidential campaign and at rallies of his disdain for trade deficits, stating that they are detrimental to what remains of the manufacturing sector in the United States according to Reuters, going so far as to say that America has been “ripped off” by shipping manufacturing overseas and buying value-added products back, producing both a trade deficit and a low-wage service economy.
“We have been ripped off by China, an evacuation of wealth like no country has ever seen before, given to another country that’s rebuilt itself based on a lot of the money they’ve taken out of the United States, and that’s not going to happen anymore,” the president said.