Donald Trump has taken a major victory lap over Britain's vote Thursday to leave the European Union, saying during a visit to his Scotland golf course that people of the United Kingdom "want to take their country back." He also said there was "a big parallel" between the so-called Brexit vote and American anger over globalization — the growing spread of trade and business ties among countries across the globe.
"They want to take their borders back. They want to take their monetary [sic] back. They want to take a lot of things back," Trump said Friday. "They want to be able to have a country again. So, I think you’re going have his happen more and more. I really believe that, and I think it’s happening in the United States.”
Trump has built his campaign — and secured his spot as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee — largely by aligning himself with voter unrest over free trade. He has slammed American companies for moving manufacturing jobs to countries such as China and Mexico.
But in his decades as a dealmaker and businessman, Trump has routinely made money from outsourced labor, overseas manufacturing and other planks of the free-trade policy he has rallied against as a politician. Even today, Trump and his businesses are rewarded handsomely for several lucrative deals he has made in the global marketplace — including manufacturing deals in China and Mexico.
Here are a few examples. Trump's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
1. Trump's signature merchandise, "made in Bangladesh"
Trump built his career in real estate before moving into lucrative licensing deals, in which Trump makes money by agreeing to tack his name onto products as diverse as steaks, chocolate, bottled water and wine.
Today, much of Trump's merchandising empire — including his Donald J. Trump Collection dress shirts, suits, eyeglasses and perfume — is made in low-wage countries such as Bangladesh, China and Honduras. Hundreds of the products in the clothing and jewelry lines of Trump's daughter Ivanka are also made in China.
In 2004, Trump struck a deal with Phillips-Van Heusen, the parent company of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, that would direct factories in those Asian and South American countries to make Trump ties and tuxedo shirts.
In those factories, wages are low, worker protections are minimal, and labor-law violations such as forced overtime are routine. But a company official who helped Trump broker the deal said "finding a company that made in America was never something" Trump said would be important.
Trump said in May that his products are made overseas because "they don’t even make them here anymore," a claim that American clothing manufacturers say is false. At a Republican debate in March, Trump also said his years of experience in outsourcing would help him correct the policies that encourage similar overseas deals.
“Nobody knows it better than me,” he said. “I’m a businessman. These are laws. These are regulations. These are rules. We’re allowed to do it. … But I’m the one that knows how to change it.”
The Democrats' presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, has pinpointed Trump's outsourcing as a key vulnerability. In a speech earlier this month, Clinton said, "Trump ties are made in China, Trump suits in Mexico, Trump furniture in Turkey, Trump picture frames in India, Trump barware in Slovenia. I'd love to hear him explain how all of that means 'America first.'"
2. Making money off global companies that make money through outsourcing
On the campaign trail, Trump has repeatedly denounced major American companies for moving jobs overseas.
He slammed Ford Motor for opening factories in Mexico and said that America under President Trump would levy a 35 percent tax on "every car, every truck … that comes across the border." He said he would stop eating Oreo cookies because their maker, Nabisco, moved some of its production to Mexico. When air-conditioner maker Carrier announced it would move 1,400 jobs from Indiana to Mexico, Trump wrote on Facebook, “We cannot allow this to keep happening. It will NOT happen under my watch.”
But financial disclosure forms released by the Federal Election Commission in May show that Trump has invested in all of those companies, and reaped the rewards of being a shareholder.
Trump, the filings showed, holds up to $1 million in Ford securities and made up to $50,000 in interest from them in recent months. Trump reported payments of up to $20,000 in interest in recent months as a holder in bonds from United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier, and Mondelez International, the conglomerate that owns Oreo and Nabisco.
Trump, the filings showed, also held up to $50,000 of stock in Disney, the media giant he has criticized for its use of H-1B visas to bring in foreign workers.
Trump said in January he was "going to get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries." Those filings showed Trump was paid more than $100,000 in income from dividends and capital gains as a shareholder in the tech giant.
In a recent exchange with The Washington Post, when asked to account for the difference between Trump's business ties and campaign rhetoric, campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said only, "The report speaks for itself."
3. Trump pours money into foreign soil
Trump's push to tighten the borders does not seem to include his own businesses overseas. The Trump global empire now includes seven completed projects, such as resorts and golf courses, and 11 other projects under construction, some of which sit in economically or politically sensitive countries such as Turkey, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.
Trump and his children have partnered with Russian moguls and traveled often to Moscow to scout out potential business deals.
To build his Trump International Hotel & Tower in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku, Trump partnered with billionaire Anar Mammadov, whose family supports a regime that the U.S. State Department say is infamous for corruption and human-rights abuse.
Trump's big partnerships with billionaires and companies working on foreign soil are unprecedented for a U.S. presidential contender. Those investments have led to worries that Trump's business interests could conflict with his push to become America's commander-in-chief.
But Trump has taken few steps to limit his global spending. Financial disclosure filings in May showed that, in the months since announcing he would run for president, Trump launched new corporations for ventures in cities such as Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Kolkata, India.
“I am most concerned about the amount of money he and his companies owe to domestic and foreign banks,” Richard Painter, White House ethics adviser to President George W. Bush, told The Washington Post. “That puts him in a position of being beholden.”
4. Benefiting from cheap immigrant labor
In 1980, Trump hired a New York contractor to demolish the Manhattan site where he wanted to build his Trump Tower. That contractor lowered prices by bringing in hundreds of undocumented Polish immigrants, who were paid less than $5 an hour, worked long, grueling days wielding sledgehammers and blowtorches, and weren't provided safety gear such as hard hats. Some of the men slept on the floor of the demolition site. When they complained about not being paid, bosses threatened to deport them.
In 1983, the year Trump Tower opened, members of the House Wreckers Local 95 union, which oversaw the Polish laborers, filed suit, claiming that Trump had illegally permitted undocumented immigrants to work on the tower. In 1990, after years of legal delays, Trump testified in court that he did not know the workers were undocumented and blamed the contractor.
The judge ruled against Trump and the contractor, saying that one of Trump’s top aides at the site “was involved in every aspect of the demolition job.” Trump appealed and won a partial reversal, but the court ruled that Trump “should have known” about the Polish workers. The case was settled and sealed in 1999.
In his 2011 book, "Time to Get Tough: Make America Great Again!", Trump called illegal immigration “a wrecking ball aimed at U.S. taxpayers.” But some say Trump has continued to benefit from low-cost, foreign-born labor.
At the Old Post Office Pavilion site in downtown Washington, where Trump is building a luxury hotel, workers interviewed by The Post said they had entered the country illegally. A Trump executive vice president said it was the responsibility of Trump's contractor "to check all workers on site."
5. Profiting off global economic turmoil
Because so much of Trump's empire is overseas, he could profit from the waves of financial uncertainty that greet global events like the Brexit vote. While visiting his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, on the same day the British pound was crashing to a 31-year low against the dollar, Trump said the stunning turn of events for the currency could help his personal business.
“When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly,” Trump said. “For traveling and for other things, I think it very well could turn out to be a positive.”
Trump's jubilation at the stumbling of one of America's most important foreign allies again highlighted the potential conflict between Trump the businessman and Trump the president.
“I think it’s a great thing that happened," Trump said shortly after his helicopter landed at the golf resort. “People are angry, all over the world. People, they’re angry.”