Ivanka is exception to dad’s rule
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”.