“Make America Great Again” hats made in China are reportedly being held up at U.S. customs due to Trump’s escalating trade war. The hats are being produced for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign despite his campaign official’s claims that all of their merchandise is made in the U.S.
Several Chinese manufacturers in the eastern Zhejiang Province have reported that they were hired to make flags and hats for Trump’s 2020 bid. A manager at flag maker Shaoxing Keqiao Jiahao Arts & Crafts Co. Yao Dandan said his company has sold around 50,000 “Trump flags” in 2018 and consistently receives orders. Some of the hats and flags foreshadow another frightening campaign bid with “Trump 2020” and “Keep America Great!” stamped across them. However, Trump’ campaign team has repeatedly denied outsourcing the manufacturing of their merchandise. Instead, they claim the Chinese manufacturers are “lying or violating protected trademark rights.”
The Chinese textile suppliers who claim they were hired to manufacture the Trump themed hats and flags have complained that the delays at customs are negatively impacting their sales. A manager at Qiwang Textile Product Wu Yuepei said, “Usually the goods only take 10 days to reach US customers. Now it is taking 15 days or longer.”
These delays are unlikely to stop anytime soon. In an interview on Thursday, Trump announced that he is ready to impose tariffs on all $500 billion worth of Chinese imports. Interviewer Joe Kernen asked Trump if he was ready to go to $500 billion, to which Trump replied, “I’m ready to go to 500.” If implemented, this full tariff would increase the 10 percent tariff that has already been placed on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The list of Chinese goods that are impacted by the tariff include “hats and headgear” and textiles including flags.
During the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign put out multiple attack ads claiming that Trump products were all made overseas. This was a brutal attack on Trump, who has repeatedly bashed U.S. companies who have international factories. His public hatred for outsourcing during the campaign included a vow to never eat another Oreo cookie because Nabisco moved some of their factories to Mexico. However, while Trump was campaigning on the promise to keep more jobs in the U.S., his fans were walking around sporting MAGA hats that were made in China.
This isn’t Trump’s first time manufacturing Trump products overseas to save a few bucks. From 2007 to 2016, the Trump Organization manufactured Trump apparel, home items, hotel items and beverages overseas and often in low wage countries. Whether or not the imported Trump hats and flags are made by Trump’s campaign, Trump’s trade war with China could lead to less of his fans sporting his new slogan during his 2020 campaign.