Ivanka is ex­cep­tion to dad’s rule

New Straits Times - - World -

In his Jan­uary in­au­gu­ra­tion speech, United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump made a seem­ingly straight­for­ward pledge: “We will fol­low two sim­ple rules: buy Amer­i­can and hire Amer­i­can.”

But his daugh­ter is the ex­cep­tion: at least eight ship­ments of Ivanka Trump-branded shoes, bags and clothes — more than 53.5 tonnes — were steam­ing to­wards US ports from China, ac­cord­ing to US Cus­toms bills of lad­ing.

Trump uses his pres­i­den­tial pul­pit to cen­sure man­u­fac­tur­ers — both do­mes­tic and for­eign — for us­ing over­seas labour to make goods for Amer­i­can con­sumers, but the Ivanka-branded or­ders have kept rolling in.

More than two tonnes of ladies’ polyester blouses, 1,600 leather wal­lets and 23 tonnes of made-in-China footwear were among 82 such ship­ments that passed US Cus­toms — al­most one per busi­ness day — from Trump’s Nov 8 elec­tion win through Feb 26.

The goods were made in China by three US com­pa­nies li­cenced to man­u­fac­ture prod­ucts for Ivanka’s fash­ion line — gar­ment maker G-III, Mon­dani Hand­bags and Marc Fisher Footwear.

The first daugh­ter’s busi­ness has come un­der scru­tiny since ma­jor US depart­ment store chain Nord­strom an­nounced last month it would stop car­ry­ing her prod­ucts, cit­ing poor sales.

That pro­voked a scathing at­tack from Trump and his ad­vis­ers, and even prompted se­nior coun­sel­lor Kellyanne Con­way to urge Amer­i­cans to go out and buy his daugh­ter’s prod­ucts.

Christo­pher Bald­ing, an ex­pert on Sino-US trade re­la­tions at Pek­ing Univer­sity, called it “very hyp­o­crit­i­cal to make (bring­ing jobs back to the US) a pol­icy plank and man­u­fac­ture her prod­ucts in China”.

But “in their de­fence... she couldn’t get those prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured in the US at a rea­son­able price point”.

Ivanka Trump

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