President Trump wants more products to be stamped with “Made in America” again, but on Monday, the White House wouldn't say he was willing to apply that standard to the products sold by his companies or those of his daughter Ivanka Trump.
To launch “Made in America” week, President Trump showcased products made in all 50 states. He argued that making products in the United States was an act of patriotism and national security.
“Remember the old days? We used to have 'Made in the USA,' 'Made in America,' ” Trump said at the White House event. “We're going to start doing that again. We're going to put that brand on our product because it means it's the best.”
“When we purchase products made in the U.S.A., the profits stay here, the revenue stays here and the jobs, maybe most importantly of all, they stay right here in the U.S.,” he continued.
But a Washington Post investigation last week found that many of Trump's own products are made overseas and the products sold by his daughter Ivanka Trump's companies are also similarly made in countries such as China, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Asked whether the president would begin by making his own commitment to making products in the United States, White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to comment on the president's businesses.
“It's not appropriate for me to stand up here and talk about a business,” Spicer said. “That would be a little out of bounds.”
But later, he defended the Ivanka Trump Co.'s use of foreign labor to manufacture products, arguing that some simply can't be made in the United States anymore. The argument is similar to the explanation given by the president of the Ivanka Trump brand, Abigail Klem, who said that making products in the United States “at a large scale is currently not possible.”
“There are certain industries that we don’t do much anymore, and there are certain things we do do here,” Spicer said. “In terms of scalability there are certain things that we may not have the capacity to do here in terms of having a plant or a factory that can do it.”
But President Trump blamed the problem on unfair trade deals and regulations. He promised that his administration's policies will turn “boarded-up communities into new outposts of American commerce.”
“We're going to stand up for our companies and maybe most importantly for our workers,” Trump said. “For decades, Washington has allowed other nations to wipe out millions of American jobs through unfair trade practices.”
“We will protect our workers, promote our industry and be proud of our history, because we will put America first,” he said.
Trump made little mention of how his administration would rectify the primary reason companies such as Ivanka Trump's produce their products overseas: cheap labor.