The following post first appeared on FactCheck.org.
When asked why plus size shapewear he doesn’t lead by example and have more of his products from the Donald J. Trump Collection made in the U.S., Trump wrongly responded, They don’t even make this stuff here. They do.
When the interviewer cited Brooks Brothers as one example of a company that makes apparel in the U.S., Trump said, They don’t make here, not that I see. He’s wrong about that, too.
The issue was raised by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week on May 8, after Trump threatened to impose tariffs or taxes on American companies that move their manufacturing overseas. On the campaign trail, Trump has criticized companies such as Carrier, Apple, Nabisco and Ford for moving production to cheaper offshore locations. (Even if some of his claims about those companies were incorrect.)
But don’t you have to also lead by example? Stephanopoulos said. You know, so many of the products in the Donald J. Trump Collection are made overseas — Bangladesh, China …
Well, that’s because you can’t even buy them here, Trump said.
But if you want other companies to make their products in America, shouldn’t you make your products in America? Stephanopoulos asked again.
But they don’t make a lot of these products, Trump said. They don’t even make them here anymore.
This was not the first time Trump has faced criticism for outsourcing production of many of the products sold in the Trump Collection. Sen. Marco Rubio raised it during a Republican debate on Feb. 25.
The second thing, about the trade war — I don’t understand, because your ties and the clothes you make is made in Mexico and in China, Rubio said. So you’re gonna be starting a trade war against your own ties and your own suits.
Trump is correct that most clothing sold in the U.S. is made overseas. According to the American Apparel & Footwear Association, 97 percent of apparel and 98 percent of shoes sold in the U.S. are made overseas.
But he went too far in claiming that products in the Donald J. Trump Collection — ties, dress shirts, suits, glasses, wallets and other accessories — aren’t made in the U.S. anymore.
Many of AAFA’s members make clothes and shoes in the United States, according to a statement released to FactCheck.org by Natalie LaBella, marketing manager for the AAFA. The member companies encompass a wide range of products and brands – including large and small companies, public and private firms, and companies manufacturing for the commercial market and making uniforms and other apparel and footwear for the U.S. military.
Demand for ‘Made in USA’ clothing and shoes is growing, the AAFA stated. In fact, there was a continued resurgence of the U.S. apparel manufacturing industry in 2015 despite 97 percent of the clothes sold in the United States being imported. U.S. production rose for thesixth consecutive year in 2015, rising 4.3 percent over 2014 levels. Because of this growth, U.S. production accounted for 2.7 percent of the U.S. market, its highest market share since 2008. U.S. production is up 50.8 percent since 2009.America merchandise.
Mr. Trump is operating under a very common misconception: that ‘Nothing is Made in America anymore,’ Americanologists co-founder and editor Kathy Shaskan told us by email. If he chooses, he can make this into a wonderful learning opportunity, for himself and the country, because there are plenty of American-made goods available, including menswear, and these manufacturers need our business. Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx make suits in the USA using imported fabrics. Brooks Brothers makes suits out of both foreign and domestic fabrics.
As for shirts and ties, our blog, www.americanologist, lists 17 manufacturers of American shirts and 20 tie manufacturers, Shaskan said. Again, some of them are made with imported fabric, some with domestic. Either way, they are providing American jobs. Mr. Trump could give American manufacturing a big boost in visibility by reshoring some of his products and I hope he chooses to look into that.