One of President Trump’s most frequently used mantras has been “America First!” But the products in the online store for his family’s company don’t reflect that.
“America First” is also the impetus behind threatening potentially destabilizing tariffs on China for what he perceives as trade abuses, and has unequivocally forgiven the murder of an American citizen at the hands of the Saudi Arabian government because the U.S. profits from ongoing arms deals with the Saudis.
And to his credit, Trump has promised to prioritize the hiring of American citizens over foreign labor, with last year’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order being a notable example. On the campaign trail in 2015, Trump promised he was “never eating another Oreo again” because Nabisco was moving a portion of its production to Mexico.
And yet, only 15 percent of the Trump Organization’s online store‘s products are made in the United States, according to Quartz. The American-made products — 41 of 268 available products — display an American flag icon and feature such descriptions as “proudly made in the USA.”
A 2016 Washington Post report found that Trump products were made in at least 12 different countries outside of the United States (Mexico, China, Honduras, India, Turkey, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Germany, and South Korea).
In a 2005 blog post titled “Outsourcing creates jobs in the long run,” Trump wrote:
“We hear terrible things about outsourcing jobs–how sending work outside of our companies is contributing to the demise of American businesses. But in this instance I have to take the unpopular stance that it is not always a terrible thing.
“I understand that outsourcing means that employees lose jobs. Because work is often outsourced to other countries, it means Americans lose jobs. In other cases, nonunion employees get the work. Losing jobs is never a good thing, but we have to look at the bigger picture.”
While Trump’s rhetoric on outsourcing as a politician clashes with what he said as a businessman, he has done little to stop outsourcing since becoming president. The Labor Department certified in 2017 that more than 93,000 American jobs were lost to outsourcing during Trump’s first year in office, compared to an average of 87,000 in the preceding five.
Nathan Wellman is a Grit Post contributing editor in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @LIGHTNINGWOW. You can also email him at info AT gritpost DOT com.