CNN’s David Fahrenthold exposes the hypocrisy of Trump’s push for companies to manufacture products in the US
KATE BOLDUAN (HOST): Made in America. Another week, a new theme at the White House. The president set to highlight products and companies made right here in the USA, but is the president leading by example on this? Is his family’s empire taking his own advice? Joining me now, David Fahrenthold, CNN contributor and a reporter for The Washington Post. Great to see you, David.
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: So your paper has done a deep dive into Trump products over time, where they’re made, where they come from. What have you all found?
FAHRENTHOLD: Well my colleagues just looked really closely at Ivanka Trump’s clothing empire. She sells all different kinds of clothing and jewelry. And what they did was to look at ship manifests, cargo records, customs records to see, OK, as her father talks about “made in America,” let’s make more things in America, where are Ivanka Trump’s goods are made? And the answer is exclusively overseas, mostly in Asia, at places where often workers are not well protected, workers work for very low wages and don’t get to see their families very often. And they talked to Ivanka Trump’s company CEO and said, “Hey, are you going to make things in America now that Ivanka Trump’s father ran for president on the basis that was something everybody could do.” And the company, Ivanka Trump’s CEO basically said, “Look, we don’t think it’s possible. We can do a little bit of manufacturing in America, but we don’t believe that the capacity exists.” Which is not a very optimistic statement at the beginning of Made in America week.
BOLDUAN: Well, and not dissimilar to probably what you would hear from many companies who are trying to keep prices down when that’s why they make things overseas. But is there any sign, other than from Ivanka’s brand, any sign that since he’s taken office that they’ve made any moves, the Trump Organization, or with Ivanka to try to move their products back to the U.S.?
FAHRENTHOLD: Maybe there’s been some lip service paid to it. I don’t think we’ve seen any concrete evidence either Ivanka Trump’s brand or Donald Trump’s many lines of clothing, ties, fragrances, anything like that, that we’ve seen any movement to have them make it in the United States. In fact, when our reporters have asked the White House, hey, how do you square Made in America week with what the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump’s company do, actually do with their products, the answer was, we’ll get back to you.
BOLDUAN: And interestingly enough when they — yesterday in a briefing they were asked, the White House was asked specifically in light of this, is the White House going to do — is the president and his daughter going to do more to bring it over back to the U.S.? They said, we’ll get back to you.