Not Even Sean Spicer Could Resolve The Irony Of Trump's "Made In America" Week
Last week, the Trump administration raised more than a few eyebrows by declaring the next few days "Made In America" week — even though some of Trump's companies produce products overseas. And Press Secretary Sean Spicer's comments about "Made In America" week didn't do much to clear up that irony (Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment).
"It's not appropriate for me to stand up here and comment about a business," Spicer said on Monday during his first daily (off-camera) White House press briefing in three weeks. Reporters had just finished asking him whether Trump's family companies will commit to producing goods in America.
"I believe that is a little out of bounds," he continued.
When pressed further on the Trump administration's "policy remedy" for companies that outsource production — such as the Ivanka Trump fashion brand which produces luxury items in factories in Asia — Spicer had a rambling and unclear response.
I can't answer that question, in the sense that I'm not — but I can tell you that it depends on the product. There are certain things that — certain industries that we don't do as much anymore, and there are certain things that we do do more ... 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 factory that can do it.
Spicer went on to say that the Trump administration's goal is to "grow the U.S. manufacturing base and to grow U.S. workers here."
While the president has repeatedly expressed a commitment to putting American workers "first" and penalizing companies for outsourcing U.S. factory and manufacturing jobs, his family's own practices fail to meet the standards he has set for the country. BuzzFeed News, for example, reported that many Trump-branded clothes are produced in a textile factory in Honduras. Protexsa, one of the companies Trump has subcontracted in Honduras, responded to BuzzFeed's report, saying the company strived to "ensure a stable, responsible business model framed by civic and moral values." In addition, The Washington Post reported that other Trump products are made in places like Mexico, Taiwan, China, India, and Turkey.
First daughter Ivanka Trump's business practices have also faced scrutiny in light of her father's "America first" rhetoric. The fashion mogul is currently facing criticism for producing high-end fashion products in a Chinese factory that reportedly violated workers' rights.
According to a report by China Labor Watch, workers in China producing shoes for Ivanka Trump's brand supposedly often work 18-hour days or earn less than the legal minimum wage. However, the Chinese company strongly denied the accusations, while the company that licenses Ivanka Trump's name, Marc Fisher Footwear, told CBS News, "We were unaware of the allegations and will look into them immediately."
Despite President Trump's promise this week to revitalize the American manufacturing industry and put a spotlight on "American goods and American grit," Trump has not yet made any indication that he plans to re-think where his own family's goods come from. And based on Spicer's performance Monday afternoon, it's unlikely that he will anytime soon.