Hours after the Trump administration announced a new council to promote American hiring, Democrats slammed Ivanka Trump over the administration's jobs initiative, calling her a "hypocrite" for promoting the effort even though many of her own products are manufactured overseas. In a statement on its website, the Democratic National Committee accused Ivanka of peddling "faux feminism" and failing to ensure acceptable working conditions for those who manufacture her products.
“While Ivanka Trump is busy writing op-eds calling on American companies to ‘create more jobs, strengthen our economy and restore hopeful futures to countless families,’ workers in countries like Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India are busy too - working in conditions below industry standards to manufacture clothing and shoes for the first daughter’s namesake brand," DNC Spokesperson Elizabeth Renda wrote in a statement.
Ivanka spoke Friday at the administration's "Pledge to America's Workers" event, wherein she praised America's workforce as "the best in the world." But the same day, the Washington Post published an extensive report on the first daughter's use of low-paid workers in China, Indonesia and other countries to manufacture products that bear her name. According to the Post, millions of pounds of Ivanka-branded products have been imported, over the course of more than 2,000 shipments, to the United States from abroad since 2010.
One Indonesian worker who says she helped manufacture dresses for Ivanka's product line told the Post that her "monthly salary is not enough for everyday expenses, [and] also not for the future." In May, activists investigating the labor conditions at a Chinese factory that makes Ivanka-branded shoes were arrested and detained by police.
“The first daughter and special adviser to the president loves to portray herself as a champion for working women, but one look inside the overseas factories where she chooses to manufacture her products proves that she is anything but," Renda wrote. "The women manufacturing ‘Ivanka Trump’ clothes and shoes are paid so little that many of them are forced to live without their own children."
Donald Trump, who said at a Monday event that his goal is to "train, recruit [and] hire American workers," has also made extensive use of outsourcing. According to a 2016 Washington Post investigation, Donald has used workers in at least 12 countries to manufacture his own product line, including Honduras, South Korea, China, Mexico and Bangladash. Donald explained the benefits of hiring non-American workers in a 2005 blog post at his now-defunct Trump University website.
"I understand that outsourcing means that employees lose jobs. Because work is often outsourced to other countries, it means Americans lose jobs," Donald wrote. "I know that doesn't make it any easier for people whose jobs have been outsourced overseas, but if a company's only means of survival is by farming jobs outside its walls, then sometimes it's a necessary step."
Although Ivanka doesn't publicly disclose which countries her products are made in, the Post reported that they've been manufactured in Vietnam, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, India and Ethiopia.
“The American people will not be fooled by the Trumps’ political publicity stunts calling for the creation of more American jobs, and they won’t fall for Ivanka’s faux feminism," Renda wrote in at the DNC's website. "The reality of how this family runs its own businesses is clear: choosing not to buy American, hire American, or make meaningful investments in American workers.”