Donald Trump’s use of cheap labour and outsourcing put under spotlight after his ‘America first’ demands

He has benefited from cheap labour at home and cheap manufacturing abroad


Rachael Revesz
New York
Thursday 30 June 2016 13:34 BST
Mr Trump reportedly used undocumented migrants to build some of his most iconic buildings
Mr Trump reportedly used undocumented migrants to build some of his most iconic buildings (AP)

“Made in China” is a familiar label on Donald Trump’s clothing lines, including his branded shirts, ties and cuffs, while other garments have come from factories in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Mexico.

The clothing venture is one example of how the Republican has benefited from cheap labour and manufacturing abroad, practices which he has denounced as recently as this week when he promised to “put America first”.

Although he told ABC News in 2011 that China’s manipulation of its currency made it impossible to compete, he told Americans on Tuesday that he would impose tariffs on Chinese goods, bring back jobs to the US and punish any US company that moves its workforce or factory abroad.

According to an investigation by The New York Times, Mr Trump paired up with Turkish maker of luxury furniture Dorya in 2013 for his Trump Home brand.

The “unbelievable” crystal products in the range were made in Slovenia, he told the newspaper in 2010.

The presidential candidate has also reportedly used undocumented immigrants to construct three of his most iconic buildings, including the Trump Tower in New York – Mr Trump settled a lawsuit over the matter as he claimed he did not know his contractor were employing them – as well as for the Trump International Hotel at the site of the former Post Office in Washington DC.

He also reportedly employed foreign guest workers from Romania and other countries to work at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

The New York Times reported that Mr Trump said he found it a challenge to source qualified people in the local area during the high season.

Despite talk at his rallies of opposing outsourcing, the property tycoon has not always been against the practice.

“If a company’s only means of survival is by farming jobs outside its walls, then sometimes it’s a necessary step,” Mr Trump wrote on his Trump University blog in 2005. “The other option might be to close its doors for good.”

He also told chat show host David Letterman in 2012 that he was proud to employ people in Bangladesh to manufacture Trump-branded dress shirts.

“That’s good, we employ people in Bangladesh,” Mr Trump said. “They have to work, too.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in