July 6, 2018
Just about a week ago, President Donald Trump reamed out iconic motorcycle producer Harley-Davidson for its plans to move some production overseas as a way to avoid the White House’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum—which threatened to cost the company as much as $2,200 per bike. Now, we hear that, the American flags that will be used daily by Trump’s 2020 reelection team at his rallies are being manufactured in China’s Zhejiang Province at a rate of about 100,000 per day.
U.S. domestic manufacturing is a key part of Trump’s agenda. The president made a campaign promise to bring back American jobs by ensuring that products would continue to be made in the U.S.A. However, now the POTUS is threatening to impose heavy import taxes on anyone who manufactures abroad—including Harley-Davidson— while promising to cut regulations and taxes for those who keep their plants in America.
Li Jiang, the owner of a substantial flag business in Zhejiang, told NPR on July 3 that his relationship with the Trump team started during the 2016 campaign. More recently, got the Trump reelection team contract. “”We also make flags for Trump for 2020,” Li Jiang told NPR’s “The Indicator” podcast. “It seems like he has another campaign going on in 2020. Isn’t that right?”
NPR said Li was making the hand-held “blue-and-white Trump 2020 flags,” that will be waved at the presidents rallies though his factory; and that many others in the Zhejiang Province also made flags for Trump and his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton during 2016. According to NPR, the Trump campaign was ordering so many more flags than Clinton’s side that locals joked they were the first to know the businessman would become president.
The committee organizing Trump’s 2020 campaign, Donald J. Trump for President Inc., last year stated a commitment to “buy American” and said it had “produced and manufactured all of our merchandise right here in America” down to the American-made stitching on its “Make America Great Again” hats.
The committee’s executive director, Michael Glassner, said in a statement released in July 2017 that the committee would sell American products “all the way through 2020 and beyond.”
It is unclear whether the organization is the one to have ordered the flags revealed to NPR and, if it did, whether it planned to give the flags away at rallies and events rather than sell them.
As for a potential trade war between China and the United States affecting sales, Li, who said he used to make about a dime off each $1 flag he sold, told NPR he was unconcerned.
“We are not so worried because first of all, we have a big price advantage over our competitors,” he said. “And our clients are very smart. They would always go to the cheapest place. If China is cheap, they go to China. If America is cheap, they go to America.”
Business Insider, which followed up the story by NPR, contacted the Trump 2020 campaign to confirm whether it had contracted flags to be made in China. The campaign has not responded yet.
According to findings of a recent CBS News/YouGov poll, nearly two out of three Americans think the nation’s economy is in good shape, and most of them believe President’s Trump’s policies are at least somewhat responsible for that. More Republicans rate the economy positively than do Democrats.
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