As Trump’s trade war with China heats up, the list of products and commodities each country is slapping tariffs on seems to increase by the hour. American companies that both export products to China and import cheap goods and raw materials from the east Asian behemoth have been scrambling to see how their businesses will be affected by the tit-for-tat trade policy President Trump has embarked on.
You may think that a business that relies heavily on both cheap raw materials from China, and near-slave wage labor in Chinese textile factories, to manufacture high-end fashion and lifestyle products sold in high-end boutiques around the world, might be really concerned by these developments over the last week.
But if you thought that, you’d be wrong. Conveniently, clothing production has conveniently been left off the list, which has one person close to the president particularly relieved.
“Exempting clothing from the tariffs provides a big break to American clothing companies that hold trademarks in China,” Think Progress reported Wednesday. “One of those clothing companies belongs to the First Daughter of the United States, Ivanka Trump.”
“Much has been written about problems caused by Ivanka Trump’s brand of clothes, handbags, and shoes, which are primarily made overseas by low-wage laborers,” McClatchy’s Anita Kumar wrote in March. Estimates reveal that, even to this day, a year and a half into her government job representing the United States around the world, Ivanka Trump pulls in almost $1.5 million a year from the Trump organization, much of that from her clothing line.
So as the First Daughter continues to rake in the cash from her Chinese sweat-shop made products in the middle of the largest trade war in decades, the rest of America remains in the crossfire.
Trump fired the first shots last month when he imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in an attempt to appease domestic miners and metal producers. While the tariffs were officially directed at multiple nations, most observers interpreted the move as one targeting China.
Just days into April, Trump decided it was time to hit China directly. He announced new tariffs totaling $50 billion a year, ostensibly in retaliation for years of intellectual property ‘theft’ and other unspecified ‘unfair practices’ China imposes on US corporations attempting to do business there.
The White House published a list of more than 1,300 products that it will target with tariffs of up to 25%. The list consists mostly of industrial products and raw materials used in manufacturing, but some consumer products made the cut as well.
To the surprise of no one except, perhaps, President Trump, China retaliated within in days, announcing tariffs on American imports of both durable goods and agriculture products totaling over $100 billion.
But don’t worry, America. No matter how heated this trade war gets, Ivanka will still be able to import her Chinese made handbags to posh stores all over the world.
Perhaps it’s only fitting that Ivanka sits this war out. Her father, after all, managed to avoid a real war in Vietnam a generation ago.