President Donald Trump kicked off the “Made in America” week with a grand speech.
“We will protect our workers, promote our industry and be proud of our history because we will put America first,” said the president. “America will be first again. We will make America great again. Remember that.”
Given the fact that the Trump Organization outsources much of its product manufacturing to Bangladesh, Mexico and China, among other countries, the event was bound to raise some serious questions about the commander-in-chief and the first daughter’s businesses — and the White House press secretary was not prepared to answer such queries.
Sean Spicer returned to the (still off-camera) daily briefing after a long absence and was immediately inundated with reporters asking if the Trump family would begin making all its products in the United States, like they have been imploring others to do.
“As part of 'Made in America' week, the Trump Organization or Ivanka Trump's brands will make any kind of commitment to stop manufacturing gifts, clothes and other wares abroad,” asked a journalist.
Spicer’s answer, as usual, was a little underwhelming and not-at-all satisfactory.
“I can tell you in some cases there are certain supply chains or scalability that might not be available,” he responded. “I'm not going to comment on specific products, but I will tell you the over-arching goal is to grow the U.S. manufacturing base and to grow U.S. workers here.”
He had a similar response when some asked about Ivanka Trump’s lifestyle brand late during the press briefing.
“I can tell you it depends on the product,” Spicer asserted. “Certain industries we don't do as much anymore in terms of scalability. Certain things we may not have capacity to do here in terms of a plant or a factory.”
However, those answers were not enough to appease the press. A reporter then questioned if Trump is “the right vessel for this message” — a valid question, considering that many of his own products, which have made millions for him and his family, are made overseas, and that his daughter’s fashion brand relies on factories in China, Indonesia and Bangladesh, where low-paid employees face inhumane abuse and human rights violations.
Instead of answering the questions that he should have been expecting given the circumstances, Spicer decided to praised his boss' business expertise.
Spicer: "I look at this in a different way." Argues as businessman he understands what disadvantages tariffs and "arcane trade laws" cause.— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) July 17, 2017
Spicer then added:
“With respect to his own companies, obviously it’s inappropriate to discuss how anything will affect his own companies. It is not appropriate for me to comment. That’s out of bounds.”
Apparently, it is not OK for him to discuss Trump products and why they are not made in America, but it is perfectly fine for the president to be a complete hypocrite.
Spicer says "not appropriate" for him to discuss impact of "Made in America" campaign on Trump & Ivanka brand goods made abroad.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 17, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters